The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network

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West Coast Herring Plan

The EC has also tabled a proposal for a Council regulation on a multi-annual plan for the management of herring fisheries to the West of Scotland.

The aim of the proposal is to ensure the sustainability of the fishery and prevent any sudden increase in fishing pressure which could jeopardise its future.

This will be achieved by determining Total Allowable Catches (TACs) aimed at achieving a high and sustainable yield but should the stock fall below the 50 000 tonne level, the fishery would be closed until it recovers.

‘The review of the cod recovery plan shows how difficult it is to rebuild depleted stocks. As this herring stock is in reasonable shape, this is the right time to set up a long-term plan to ensure that current good fishing practices are maintained. This is the best way of ensuring the sustainability of the fisheries concerned.’ commented European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Joe Borg.

Special fishing permits will be required for vessels fishing on the stock, and these vessels will not be allowed to fish both inside and outside the West of Scotland area on the same fishing trip unless they transmit their catch reports daily to the fisheries authorities in their flag state.

The West of Scotland herring stock is much smaller than the North Sea herring stock, and is fished mainly by vessels from the UK, Netherlands, Germany and France. In the late 1970s the fishery witnessed a dramatic collapse which led to it being closed completely for two years and more recently, it there was substantial misreporting up to 2006.

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