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Monday, November 11, 2002

Reform of the European Union's 20 year old Common Fisheries Policy appears to be on the way...

Today the European Union's own scientists have warned that that cod stocks in the North Sea are close to collapse. This comes only a month after the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea recommended the complete closure of all fisheries that target cod in the North Sea, Skagerrak, Irish Sea and waters west of Scotland.

The ICES advised this because their studies have suggested that this is the only way of giving these depleted stocks a period of time to recover, and, hopefully, to return to their former productive state. Cod are also caught as a by-catch in mixed fisheries, such as haddock, whiting, flatfish, shrimp and prawn (Nephrops) fisheries. EU fisheries ministers will meet next month to decide on fishing quotas... they are expected to offer 10,000 - 20,000 fishermen up to $600m compensation if the fisheries are closed.