Sunday 3 November 2002

More fishy business

As I thought, the likely EU rules for North Sea fishing will treat some as more equal than others:
Under the plans which have been submitted to the EU, the Danes and Norwegians will be allowed to catch cod, whiting and haddock accidentally while fishing for sand eels which are processed and used for animal feed and fertiliser.

The tiny fish are caught in nets with mesh sizes as small as 9mm. Under EU rules, trawlers which fish for so-called industrial species are permitted to catch up to 5% of white fish as part of their haul. And there are no plans to clamp down on the practice.

So accidental catching of cod is OK unless you're Scottish:
However, Scottish fishing crews will be banned from trawling for whiting and haddock because of fears that they might accidentally net cod while at sea, even though stocks of haddock and whiting are not facing the same threat. In addition, industrial fisheries are also seen as damaging to the recovery of cod stocks because cod feed on sand eels and other small fish.
Amazingly, the UK seems to have less clout than the Norwegians who aren't even members of the EU.