Anger flares over North Sea herring threat –

Anger flares over North Sea herring threat Fishing Monthly Published:  23 January, 2004

SCOTTISH fishermen’s leaders said today they feared talks between the EU and Norway on a reciprocal fishing deal for this year will allow Norwegian, Swedish and Danish vessels to fish for herring in the North Sea

EU and Norwegian officials were today locked in a bid to finally agree a deal to allow Community and Norwegian vessels access to each others’ waters.

However, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, president Alex Smith said he was deeply concerned at indications that the Norwegians, Danes and Swedes would be allowed to fish Skaggerak herring entitlement in North sea waters.

“It looks like the Commission is going to allow this to happen against the wishes of France, the UK and the Dutch.What it really means is that the Norwegians and the two other states would be allowed to catch another 28,000 tonnes of herring in the North Sea which means more pressure on the stock.There is grave concern and anger over this.

“This a major stumbling block and although the UK is trying to block this, the Commission is still determined to go ahead with it.”

There was also some threat to the UK’s North Sea haddock share which could amount to a reduction in UK haddock entitlement by perehaps 3000 to 4000tonnes although this was only speculation at this stage.

“But we would be very much against the Norwegians and others winning this flexibility in the North Sea and this is totally unaccedptable.”