EU fisheries ministers have reached agreement on the deep sea catch for 2007 and 2008, with cuts of between 10 and 25 per cent for several species. The European Commission had wanted cuts of 33 per cent for each year. Big fishing nations – France, Spain and Portugal – objected. Agreement came after more than 24 hours of negotiations. Talks were aimed at striking a balance between protecting declining fish stocks and keeping fishermen in business.
The EU 25 accepted the third version of proposals presented by the Finnish presidency. Ministers also agreed to the use of satellite technology to keep track of trawlers and make sure quotas are respected. Computer reporting will be compulsory on vessels of 24 metres and longer by 2010. Smaller trawlers – those between 15 and 24 metres – will have four and a half years to swap log book for computer.