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Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Overfishing threatens future of UK cod stocks
The WWF today warned that cod stocks will collapse if Member States ignore the advice issued by the International Council in the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) today to close the fishery for the cod stocks in the North Sea, Irish Sea + West of Scotland.

The message to fisheries ministers is the worst ever, as ICES is also advising zero catch for Irish Sea whiting, Southern hake and capelin in the Barents Sea.

According to ICES figures the number of young fish boosting cod populations in the North Sea in the first quarter of this year were the lowest they have been in 20 years and they have yet again advised that all cod fisheries are closed in order to allow stocks a chance to recover. WWF endorses ICES advice and today urged Member States to take precautionary action and close the cod fishery while investing the money, which will be vital to assist fishing communities through this period.