Scottish cod and haddock stocks at risk – WWF –

Scottish cod and haddock stocks at risk – WWF Published:  05 January, 2010

THE World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has expressed serious concern about the long term future long term future of cod and haddock reserves of Scotland’s West Coast region under current EU policy.

WWF Scotland says that while EU measures in recent years have helped to improve the cod and haddock fishery in the North Sea generally, it is not the same situation for stocks further west.

Like many fishing and environmental groups, WWF Scotland is calling for major changes to European fishing policy in the next couple of years. The EU Commission has already ordered a major review of the CFP, but some critics worry if there is the same determination among member states when it comes to the crunch.

The WWF says fishing operations off Scotland’s north west coast do have a future if the right measures are put in place, but it has added a warning saying that under present regulations they remain seriously at risk.

Both cod and haddock are the whitefish mainstay of the Scottish industry, worth around £50-million a year to the Scottish economy.

WWF Scotland assessed the four most widely caught species of white fish, which also include whiting and monkfish. Louize Hill, the charity’s marine policy officer, said: “Most west of Scotland stocks still remain at risk, but it is now clear that sensible quotas alongside other conservation measures could help turn this situation around.”She said the CFP under its present constitution has failed to protect fish stocks and it was urgent that something is done about this – and soon.