Conservative MEP demands Cod fishing restrictions are lifted

Ian Duncan, MEP for Scotland, will help lead efforts in the European Parliament to repeal the EU’s Cod Recovery Plan. Dr Duncan has been appointed lead negotiator of the European Conservative and Reformist Group and will seek to convince the European Commission both to recognise the healthy state of the North Sea cod stocks and to discontinue the recovery plan as no longer necessary.

The Cod Recovery Plan was finally brought into force in 2004 to address the dramatic fall in cod numbers, with the aim of restoring stocks to a healthy level where the fish could once again be sustainably caught. In 2015, scientists recognised that cod had recovered to such a degree that it could soon be certified as a fully sustainable fishery- something unthinkable when the plan was instituted.

A repeal of the plan will remove out of date targets for cod mortality and allow fishermen to move to more selective gears, including larger nets and ultimately allow for the reintroduction of sustainable fishing within the cod recovery zone. 

Commenting Ian said,

"I look forward to taking part in the negotiations that will lead to the repeal of the Cod Recovery Plan. It will allow me to ensure the views of British fishermen are at the heart of the debate."

"British fishermen have made many sacrifices over the last decade to secure a return of a sustainable cod fishery. Many fishing vessels were decommissioned and many fishing careers were brought to an end.  The painful sacrifice has secured a re-growth in the cod stock. The certification of the cod stock by the Marine Stewardship Council as fully sustainable would be a fitting tribute to that sacrifice."

"I trust that my colleagues from across the Parliament will work together to  repeal this plan. it’s job is done."