11th December '23

Statement on international fisheries agreements for 2024

Scottish fishermen have broadly welcomed the first results from a series of international deals that set out their fishing opportunities and TACs (total allowable catches) for next year.

Under a trilateral agreement between the UK, EU and Norway, and a bilateral between the UK and the EU, increased quotas have been set for a range of key commercial stocks such as cod, haddock, whiting, plaice, saithe and herring.

Skippers are particularly pleased that quotas for cod have been increased by around 15%, reflecting the industry experience of healthy volumes of the stock, and the science on the cod stock in our waters having been updated. This updated science gives a much better understanding of the northern shelf cod stock, and allows setting of sustainable quotas for the North Sea and West of Scotland.

SFF chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said: “We have had our differences with the Scottish Government this year in relation to the now abandoned HPMA policy, but we have to pay credit to the excellent work of Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon and her team at the Marine Directorate who along with colleagues in the UK Government have secured a good deal for our fishermen for 2024.

“These outcomes also show how wrong those organisations are who try to discredit Scotland’s fishing industry as they catastrophise about the state of our stocks.

“The quotas announced today reflect the science, which shows that the majority of our key commercial fish stocks are in good health, and demonstrate that the industry is committed to sustainability and good management practice.”

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