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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fisheries chief says some EU cod stocks facing collapse

The European Union's fisheries chief proposed on Wednesday a cut of up to a third in the amount of cod the bloc's fishermen can catch next year, warning that stocks are at risk of collapse in some areas. Scottish fishermen are likely to be worst affected by such quota limits after the European Commission proposed a continued ban in 2014 on landings of cod off Scotland's Atlantic west coast to try to avert a possible crash in numbers. Cod stocks off other parts of Britain, Ireland and in the Bay of Biscay are also in a dire state, Greek EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki said, meaning quotas in these regions should be reduced by up to a third. But fishermen whose incomes have been hard-hit in recent years by too many vessels chasing too few fish will be hoping for a reprieve when EU fisheries ministers gather in Brussels in December to approve the catch quotas.