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Negotiations Breakdown Over TACs

SCOTLAND, UK - The third round of negotiations between the EU and Norway to set total allowable catches and other fisheries arrangements for shared stocks such as North Sea cod and haddock have broken down without agreement.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, says failure to reach agreement after five weeks of talks will add further difficulty and complications to the fisheries management arrangements the Scottish fleet will face in 2010.

The main stumbling block in the negotiations was over arrangements for the Norwegians to fish for mackerel in EU waters, which are normally agreed quite quickly. It is believed the EU has offered to resume talks with Norway in the New Year.

With the EC Fish Council due to commence next week (14 December) to decide upon fishing opportunity for 2010, the failure to reach agreement with Norway adds further uncertainty to an already difficult situation.

Mr Armstrong said: “At this stage it is too early to assess what the breakdown in these talks will mean for Scottish fishermen in 2010 and it is possible that the current arrangements will be rolled over into next year.

“However, the failure in these negotiations does add extra uncertainty in what is already a very difficult situation for Scottish fishermen. It is now more vital than ever that a fair and sensible arrangement is agreed at next week’s Fish Council meeting.”

the Fish Site Editor

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