Scientists Must Drop "Madcap" Ideas Over Cod Recovery –

Scientists Must Drop “Madcap” Ideas Over Cod Recovery Fishing Monthly Published:  01 March, 2003

WHILE Governments hide behind scientific advice on fish stocks, the fishing industry is in a very difficult position, according to a fishermen’s spokesman.

But Hamish Morrison, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation says it is crucial that the industry changes scientists’ minds over the “madcap” idea of fishery shutdowns to save cod.

Mr Morrison added the industry now knew on the basis of the interim cod recovery regulation how many kilowatt days it had.

“And at the very least we must come out of the decommissioning scheme with the same number of kilowatt days. We have to have these extra kilowatt days available to transfer for vessels staying in commission.”

On calls for a rebalancing of the aid on offer from the Scottish Executive, his feeling was that the Executive is in a familiar difficulty over transitional aid given that trying to do what is logical and right is not the same thing as being politically appropriate.

Meanwhile, an EU meeting on April 28 would look at the results of stock surveys for February and March, with the fishing industry being in at the beginning and end of this session.

“But the only way we can get ourselves out of the jam we are in is by challenging the madcap idea that saving the West Coast and North Sea cod stock means a catching moratorium.

“It is very difficult for scientists to say they have changed their mind over this issue. But we have to change it for them.”