Shetland Fishermen have given a qualified welcome to ICES recommendations for increased catch quotas for several key fish species in 2023

Shetland Fishermen have given a qualified welcome to ICES recommendations for increased catch quotas for several key fish species in 2023

Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) has given a qualified welcome to recommendations for increased catch quotas for several key fish species in 2023.

The latest scientific advice issued by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) provides for higher total allowable catches in the North Sea of cod, whiting and plaice, and also for species assessed over a wider area such as saithe and haddock.     

On the downside, ICES recommends reduced catches next year of North Sea herring, sole and lemon sole.

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“A 44% increase in the North Sea cod quota, as recommended, would of course be good news, as would a 19% increase in saithe quota,” commented SFA chairman James Anderson, skipper of the whitefish trawler Alison Kay.

“But we should not forget that steep cuts in quotas for species such as cod in recent years should never have happened in the first place. We have seen abundant cod and saithe on our grounds throughout a three-year period of sharply reduced quotas, and even with next year’s increases we will still be far from reversing that totally unnecessary damage.”

SFA executive officer Simon Collins said that the fishing industry was determined to co-operate with scientists to improve the quality of the data used in stock assessments. “The Northern Fishing Alliance, representing fishermen from the UK, Norway and Denmark, is already working with ICES on cod science and will look to other species in the near future.

“We cannot continue to run our fisheries on the basis of patchy or non-existent data, and we intend to play a full part in remedying these deficiencies. Science that makes the best of fishermen’s knowledge is the only real guarantee of the sustainability of our fish stocks and the communities that depend on them.”      

Source: Press Release

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Shetland Fishermen welcomes latest ICES catch quota recommendations

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