Huge Catch Reductions Needed To Save Cod –

Huge Catch Reductions Needed To Save Cod Fishing Monthly Published:  27 November, 2002

FISHERIES Commissioner Franz Fischler said today that to ensure that the low TACs he wants for saving cod are are complied with, a fishing effort limitation scheme must be immediately implemented.

The Commission initially favours a simplified system which would apply a reduction in fishing effort to the fleets fishing for threatened stocks. It would mean 80% cut in effort by the cod/haddock/whiting fleet segment; a 40% cut by the flatfish segment; 10% in the industrial fisheries segment and 5% in the Nephrops fleet segment.

The Commission proposes that the 1999-2001 period be taken to calculate the allocations of fishing effort. Member States would decide on the vessels to which fishing effort is to be allocated. Allocations would be expressed in terms of days at sea for 2003.

The main instrument proposed is fishing effort limitation. The Commission would explore whether further increases in selectivity are possible. It would also hold discussions with the industry on the possibility of new industry initiatives in making fishing gear more selective.

While the relationship of cod with haddock, plaice, sole and whiting outside the North Sea has not been quantified, the Commission would adopt the same percentage reductions for these species as in the North Sea. For other stocks caught with cod, a 10% cut in the TACs would be proposed, except for Nephrops and saithe.

Scientific advice indicates that fishing mortality should sharply reduce on stocks other than cod for their own conservation. These include hake, anglerfish, plaice, sole and haddock.