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EU Fisheries Ministers Agree 2007 Catch Quotas

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

26 December 2006


It emerged last Thursday that European Fisheries Ministers have reached agreement on catch quotas for the coming year, an announcement which has been welcomed by UK Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw.

Mr Bradshaw acknowledged that cuts in cod catches agreed on at the meeting were necessary to protect stocks, but stressed that bigger catches for other types of fish combined with record-high prices meant that fishermen could look forward to increased incomes in 2007.

The agreement reached in Brussels included a 14% reduction in North Sea cod quota and a 7-10% reduction in the number of days boats are allowed to go fishing (also designed to protect cod stocks) - depending on the size of their nets.

Other highlights for the UK included:

  • 20% quota increase for South West England hake;
  • 17% quota increase for Irish Sea prawns;
  • 13% quota increase for mackerel;
  • 10% quota increase for North Sea and West of Scotland monkfish;
  • 6% quota increase for South West England monkfish; and
  • A six-fold quota increase for Rockall haddock.

The UK Fisheries Minister announced that:

"The UK was prepared to go further to protect cod, and nobody is more committed to helping its recovery than we are, but in the face of opposition from other countries we accepted a more modest reduction."

"The agreement builds on the considerable cuts in cod catches already made in recent years. The impact on our fishing fleet will be more than compensated for by big increases in catches allowed for prawns, haddock, mackerel and monkfish - each of which is already more valuable than cod to our fishermen."

He concluded:

"Ports from Peterhead to Plymouth have reported record incomes recently - high fish prices and big increases in quotas for our most important stocks mean our fishermen can look forward to another very good year in 2007."


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