He warned efforts to save Cod stocks will be destroyed if the EC get its way. Mr Lochead will make the Cod recovery plan (CRP) the priority at next week’s fisheries council at which annual fishing quotas are thrashed out.
Mr Lochhead was speaking in response to EC claims the UK boats have over fished in recent years and that they should be punished by further days at sea cuts which could force the fleet to stay in port.
Mr Lochhead told the Scottish Parliament: ” The irony is that this threat has emerged just as catching opportunities look brighter and conservation efforts are gaining plaudits. We cannot allow the Cod Recovery Plan to become an industry destruction plan”.
MSP’s heard that North Sea Cod discards had been more than halved since 2007, from 62% to 29%.
UK and Scottish fisheries ministers met EC fisheries Commission Maria Damanaki on Monday December 5 and were assured by her that a decision to cut days at sea would not be taken until the new year…