WWF Scotland called for greater protection for Co and Haddock as it gave its latest verdict on white-fish stocks at the weekend.
Describing 2010 as a year of ups and downs for Scotland’s fishing fleet, the conservation group said there was still a bright future for stocks and all who depended on them but only if at risk species-such as cod-were better protected.
Mireille Thom, WWF’s marine policy officer, added: “ In general, the North Sea continues to be in better shape than the West of Scotland. Conservation measures taken by the industry have been rewarded in he North sea , where the haddock gained MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) Certification. “ However, despite progressive measures being taken in Scotland to protect Cod, including the use of more selective fishing gear and CCTV on board number of trawlers, North sea stocks have not yet recovered enough to avoid news cuts in quotas”.
Ms Thom was speaking jus weeks after last months Fisheries Council in Brussels delivered heft quota cuts but also a few important gains for Scotland’s fishing fleet in 2011.WWF Scotland said the cuts were not enough to safeguard stocks and would inevitably lead t an increase in discards, the practice of throwing fish often dead back into the sea..
The group also called on the Scottish Government to offer support to allow more fisheries to become sustainable and achieve MSC accreditation an for effective reform along more sustainable lines f the EU Common Fisheries Policy.
Scottish Fishermen’s Federation Chief Executive Bertie Armstrong sad he agreed there was an urgent need for fundamental rule changes but not with WWF Scotland’s call for an Unnecessary Nero catch of West Coast of Scotland Haddock.