Present harvesting levels must be maintained, says Park – Fishupdate.com

Present harvesting levels must be maintained, says Park Published:  23 October, 2006

Mike Park

THE catching sector will not tolerate cuts in what they believe are healthy stocks, it was underlined today.

For a warning to the European Commission that there is no justification for lowering harvest levels for either haddock or prawns next year came from a fishermen’s leader.

And he told Fishupdate that far from justifying a total catch ban, North Sea cod catching could logically see an increase in quota.

Mike Park, the Executive Chairman of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association, commenting on the last week’s ICES health report on major stocks, said that the prawn stock is being harvested very sustainably.

“Therefore there can be no justification for moving away from present harvest levels,” he added.

The same went for haddock.

“We are not looking for anything less in terms of harvest levels for next year,” he said.

As far as cod was concerned, far from being a case for a zero total allowable catch in the North Sea, there was actually a logical argument for increasing the cod quota as there is going to be more fish in the sea.

Meanwhile on the face of it there was the prospect of a significantly increased haddock quota for the Rockall area. But there had to be caution that the Commission might use a significant part of an enhanced total allowable catch of around 7000 tonnes to cover Russian catches to the detriment of UK and Scottish fishermen.

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