EU sounds death-knell for cod-supper next year
(BRUSSELS) - EU officials on Tuesday ordered Scots and Irish trawlers to stop catching cod, king of fish-and-chip suppers, for the whole of 2012.
"For cod in the West of Scotland, the Irish Sea and the Kattegat, the European Commission proposes that no fishing takes place in 2012, given the poor state of these stocks," said a statement.
The Kattegat is the stretch of sea between Denmark and Sweden.
"Poor data hampers the management of these stocks and despite successive cuts in the total allowable catches over recent years, the stocks still fail to recover," the commission added.
The European Union executive said its suggested catch quotas for 2012, which still need member states' approval, were based on scientific advice first and foremost.
Brussels officials say cuts of 25 percent are needed to restore stocks of most types of cod, haddock and whiting.
Herring and plaice are also to be cut by a quarter, while other species including lobster see cuts of around 15 percent.
The quotas affect EU-only stocks, not those managed in conjuction with sea neighbours such as Iceland, whose fishermen have already angered Atlantic counterparts by unilaterally hiking up their self-determined quotas.
The new quotas would lead to an overall catch reduction for next year against 2011 of 11 percent, by weight.
"Our proposal's cornerstones are long-term management of stocks and reliable scientific data to base our decisions on," said the EU fisheries commissioner, Maria Damanaki.
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