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Seafish CEO responds to quota announcement from Brussels

EU - In response to today's announcement on 2007 quotas, John Rutherford, Seafish Chief Executive said: "The decision-making process that takes place in Brussels has to take into account very complex fisheries science and strike a balance between the environmental, economic and social issues involved. This is no easy task.

"It is widely acknowledged that during the twentieth century, fishing had an impact on stocks in the North Sea, and we must accept that cod needs time to recover. In the context of global fish supplies, the North Sea is not a major source.

"Quota compliance as part of the recovery plan for the North Sea cod stocks is fully recognised by fishermen and fisheries managers. Some fishermen are going further to demonstrate best practice and the extent to which they are working in a responsible way, and are joining schemes such as our own Responsible Fishing Scheme. It is encouraging that one of the announcements from Brussels, for example, is that prawn fishermen who use nets which avoid catching young cod will be allowed to spend 11 more days at sea in 2007 than in 2006.

"There is work still to be done to restore the cod stocks and there will continue to be vigorous debate about the most effective way to do this. It is in all our interests to have sustainable and healthy stocks of fish in waters all around the world."

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