The 63% increase in the North Sea cod quota under the deal between Norway, the EU and the UK vindicates the position taken by the industry that drastic cod quota cuts have been excessive, considering the abundance of cod on fishing grounds, according to Shetland Fishermen’s Association chief Simon Collins.
‘Deficiencies in stock assessment processes are finally being addressed, and the science is now catching up with reality, proving that fishermen have had the right of it. Today’s announcement gives lie to the notion propagated by eNGOs that cod stocks are facing ‘extinction’, or that fish stocks in our seas are in poor shape – when in fact the opposite is true,’ he said.
‘The agreed quota increases also announced today for other species such as haddock, saithe and whiting mean a more viable future for Shetland’s family-owned fishing fleet, on which the well-being of our whole wider community depends.’
Negotiations between Norway, the EU and the UK have resulted in quota increased for cod (63%), haddock (30%), plaice (5.80%), saithe (18.7%) and whiting (30%), as well as a 7.30% reduction in the quota for herring.
According to DEFRA, fishing rights are worth £202 million to the UK fishing sector, a £33 million increase on 2022.
‘I’m pleased we have reached agreements with the EU and Norway, and wider coastal states, to secure important fish stocks worth over £450 million for the UK fishing fleet in 2023,’ said fisheries minister Mark Spencer.
‘The deals will help support a sustainable, profitable fishing industry for years to come while continuing to protect our marine environment and vital fishing grounds.’