New deal on shared fish stocks warmly received

The Scottish Government has welcomed a new deal on shared fish stocks agreed between the EU and Norway.

Negotiations have put in place a new bilateral agreement for the management of the shared stocks in the North Sea.

Fisheries secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Following some tough negotiations between both parties, it is positive that a new agreement is now in place between the EU and Norway."

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Under the deal, Scotland's catch quota scheme, whereby fishermen land everything they catch without discards imposed by the EU's Common Fisheries Policy, will be extended.

Mr Lochhead added: "Scottish fishermen will be able to land an extra amount equal to 12 per cent of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for cod. This will enable us to more than double the number of boats participating in the scheme to around 40."

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, said the agreement will enable access for Scottish boats into the Norwegian sector straight after the new year, which wasn't possible at the start of 2010.