Has the North Sea really cooled ?

Cod Gadus morhuaIn 2006 commercial fishermen argued  that global warming, not over-fishing, had been to blame for dwindling cod numbers and protested over that December’s proposed 15% cod quota cut;  Bertie Armstrong of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation said at the time: "Not until the North Sea cools down again can we expect to see any change in the situation, but by then we may have completely destroyed the Scottish white fish fleet."

Perhaps that theory has been exposed for what it was, as Mr Armstrong is now saying: “We firmly believe that North Sea cod is a sustainable choice for the consumer because the scientific advice indicates that stock levels will continue to rise in future, thanks to the sustainable fishing practices adopted by our fishermen”

And whilst he is disappointed that the MCS advice on North Sea cod remains unchanged at the moment, he stated; “ Our unequivocal message to the consumer is to eat more Scottish fish – and that includes North Sea cod.”

What a difference 7 years can make !

Whilst there is much to commend the white fish sector for their efforts, it is a real shame that the Government, its fisheries managers and the relevant Inshore Fisheries Groups have not encouraged the West coast nephrops sector, especially those operating in the Clyde, to take equivalent steps to minimise the depletion of demersal species.

Category: Commercial

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