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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: North Sea stocks look up  (อ่าน 2272 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: พฤษภาคม 19, 2010, 05:29:23 AM »


Cod stocks have now rebuilt by 52 per cent since they hit a low point in 2006. (Photo: FIS)

North Sea stocks look up

UNITED KINGDOM
Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 02:20 (GMT + 9)

The North Sea is leading the rest of Europe’s waters in the recovery of cod and other threatened fish populations, it was learned on Monday.

Cod stocks have now rebuilt by 52 per cent since they hit a low point in 2006. Their recovery is attributable to reduced European Union (EU) quotas and enhanced fishing methods that have reduced discards.

This news could lead to wild-caught North Sea cod being sold in supermarkets again alongside wild cod from Iceland and the Barents Sea.

"Signs of improvement of North Sea cods stocks are encouraging,” said Callum Roberts, a marine biologist at the University of York. “The sort of measures that fishermen are undertaking in Scotland are good developments.”

"But although the trend is in the right direction, it's definitely too early to celebrate," he cautioned, The Scotsman reports.

Apart from EU ministers in Brussels having successively lowered annual catch quotas as they saw stocks decline, skippers have introduced smaller mesh sizes to nets and cameras to monitor and prevent discards.

In the North Sea, the amount of stocks considered to be below safe biological limits has dropped from eight to six in the past year, according to a report released by the European Commission. Five stocks are now being fished sustainably, compared with only two a year ago.

Total allowable catches (TACs) in the North Sea surpassed scientific advice by 17 per cent for 2010 versus 37 per cent in 2009. Yet, the amount of stocks for which scientists have not given advice has risen from 10 to 11.

“For the first time in recent times, the commission has recognised that progress is being made in sustainability in the North Sea, and that is very encouraging," stated Bertie Armstrong, the chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF).

Still, Armstrong warned that Scottish fishers were having an increasingly thorny time reconciling their experience on typically fertile fishing grounds with current restrictions on fishing.

He called it vital that a concerted focus be placed on both the immediate future and the current reform process of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The result must be effective regional control with extensive fisheries management powers devolved to the most efficient and appropriate level to guarantee effectual appliance.
 
But Armstrong noted the persistent lack of clarity regarding what might be legally achievable under the CFP reform.
 
“There has been no clarity from either Brussels or the Government on this issue and they must now focus all their efforts in finding what is possible to achieve, so that a viable solution can be implemented that will secure the industry’s future,” he said.

Related articles:

- Conservation group releases assessment on Scottish stocks
- December Fisheries Council breeds improved concessions

By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com

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