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Sunday, 6 December 2015

Great news north of the border! - 'Significant increases' in fishing quotas agreed, say ministers

Significant increases in fishing quotas for Scottish fishermen have been agreed for key stocks next year, according to ministers.

The Scottish Government said the deal follows talks between the EU and Norway.

It was agreed that the total allowable catch (TAC) for cod can increase by 15%, while haddock catches have been given a 30% boost, with an additional top up of 17% for vessels affected by the discard ban - giving a total increase of over 47%.

The quota for North Sea herring will increase by 16% next year.

Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "These significant increases for both haddock and cod, in line with scientific advice, are good news for the fishing industry.

"Following a year which saw landings up by nearly a fifth and revenues worth over £500m, these increases in quota mean fishermen can further boost catch and profits and could be worth over £15m.

This will also help the fleet manage the discard ban, which will stop dead haddock being thrown back into the sea, which will in turn improve the stocks of fish."

Conservative MEP for Scotland Ian Duncan said decisions for every species have yet to be taken, but he voiced his delight with the outcome reached on Friday.

He said: "Let me be clear, on the whole this is a fantastic result for the Scottish fishing industry and I pay tribute to them and all the hard work and pain they have endured over the last decade or so to be in a position today that sees cod TAC increase by 15% to 27,930 tonnes in EU waters. Considering where we were not that long ago, this in itself would be incredible.

"But the news for haddock; an increase of almost 50% and north sea herring; an increase of 16% on top of the cod figures leaves the industry in very good heart this evening."