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10 December 2008

STEVENSON WELCOMES NEW AGREEMENT TO TACKLE COD DISCARDS

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed an historic deal between the EU and Norway over measures to tackle the practice of discarding perfectly good fish as a result of fishing quotas. As a result of the fishing discussions, it has been agreed that there will be:

  • A ban on the dumping of marketable fish
  • A 30 per cent increase in the Total Allowable Catch for North Sea cod - the biggest TAC increase in over 20 years
  • Additional measures to help fishermen make their cod quota last all year
  • An extension to other Member States of the innovative Real-Time Closures scheme pioneered in Scotland

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“I am delighted that this round of negotiations has resulted in much needed good news for Banff & Buchan’s hard pressed fishing communities. The fishing industry here has led the way in adopting innovative new measures, such as real time closures, that will now be adopted by the rest of the EU.

“The increase in Cod quotas represents a fitting reward for the efforts and sacrifices of the fishing industry here. Although there are further challenges for the industry in order to keep fisheries sustainable, I am confident that the industry in Banff & Buchan will lead the way in meeting them.

“This is a real vindication for the approach taken in Scotland towards creating a sustainable fishing industry and with the rest of the EU now following Scotland’s lead, it only goes to underline what Scotland could achieve with a distinctive, independent voice in Europe.”

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