Concession over North Sea quota hailed early victory by industry

By Keith Findlay in Brussels

Published: 19/12/2012

Crunch talks affecting the immediate future of Scotland’s fishing fleet are under way, with UK ministers declaring an early victory.

Industry figures are awaiting the final outcome of the two-day Fisheries Council in Brussels, but one north-east skipper said yesterday any deal would have to breathe life and hope into a sector with its “heart ripped out”.

The end-of-year talks, which will set the rules for fishing in 2013, delivered an early boost when ministers from 26 out of 27 EU member states – the Netherlands abstained – voted to stop automatic annual cuts in quota for North Sea cod and reductions in the number of days that fishermen are allowed to spend at sea.

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