EU ministers have reached a unanimous compromise deal on fishing quotas for 2007 after marathon talks in Brussels. The accord is important, as 500 000 people in the bloc depend on the industry for their livelihood. Initially wary member states accepted revised reductions in quotas and fishing days for the seriously depleted stocks of cod.
EU Fish Commissioner Joe Borg said it means a sustainable future is more likely: “We would look also into other areas, where cod is in bad shape, and basically it is in bad shape in all community waters, in order to see what action apart from what we are taking already can be taken in order to bring about a situation of sustainability with regard to cod.”
The Atlantic, the North Sea and the Channel make up the EU’s fishing grounds. In terms of threatened anchovy stocks, France and Spain have also agreed to share a three-month experimental fishing period in the Bay of Biscay. A further decision will then be taken.