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*** North Sea Ministerial commitments: out of sight, out of mind? ***
Credit © WWF Canon / Mike R. Jackson

Cod in bucket / North Atlantic
© WWF Canon / Mike R. Jackson
Ministers fail to save fish stocks

19 December 2003

Brussels, Belgium - WWF today strongly condemned the decision by EU Fisheries Ministers to ignore scientific advice and to allow fishing for cod and hake to continue in the North Sea in 2004.

Ministers agreed this morning:
- weakened recovery plans for cod and hake;
- a 55 per cent increase in quota for haddock in the North Sea;
- no reduction in cod quota for the North Sea;
- a 10% reduction in sandeel quotas in the North Sea when 65% was needed;
- a 20% reduction in skate and ray quotas when 40% was needed;

"The Ministers have displayed a complete lack of vision. Once again Europe’s common long-term interest in saving fish stocks and fishing communities has been sacrificed for short-term gain. The proposed recovery plans by EU Ministers will simply not lead to recovery”, said Charlotte Mogensen, WWF Fisheries officer.

"In supporting a zero catch for cod, the European Commission could have aided the recovery of the fishery, and ensured a future for fishermen," said Simon Cripps, Director of WWF's Endangered Seas Programme. "The Commission has compromised too much, and fish stocks and fishermen will both suffer this gross mismanagement." MORE...

Related news articles:
EU fish quotas must secure long-term future of stocks
* Fishery closure needed to save cod from brink of oblivion
* A funeral for cod

Get an idea if Ministers live up to their commitments made at the Intermediate Ministerial Meeting on the Integration of Fisheries and Environmental Issues in 1997 and/or the Fifth North Sea Conference in 2002.