"Sad saga" of EU fishing quotas continues, says WWF – Fishupdate.com

“Sad saga” of EU fishing quotas continues, says WWF Published:  28 November, 2007

WWF has described as a “complete nonsense” the European Commission decision to agree an 11% increase in TAC for North Sea cod with Norway.

The agreement forms part of the fisheries deal struck between the EU and Norway on Monday.

“The end result of higher quotas will be a total failure of the management of this species”, says Carol Phua, WWF Fisheries Policy Officer. “Scientists have recently announced a slight improvement of the cod stock, because of the growing number of young cod. But full recovery of the stock needs time and it is not by allowing fishermen to take more young fish, through higher quotas, that the situation will improve. In fact, with juvenile fish being caught, in few years the situation will just be worse.”

WWF believes cod stocks will only recover through a package of

measures, including the use of more selective gear – such as sorting

grids, separator trawls and large square mesh panels – to avoid catching cod in the first place, and the avoidance of fishing in areas with large concentrations of cod. Independent observers on boats, as currently being trialled in Scotland, will be vital to monitor the impact of the fleet in the North Sea throughout 2008.

WWF is now calling on EU Ministers to agree on “sustainable” quotas for 2008 at the EU Fisheries Council on 17-19 December.

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