Only a third of the UK’s key fish populations are in a healthy state, and catches of key species such as cod should be reduced this year as the UK negotiates fishing rights with the EU, according to the first post-Brexit assessment of the UK’s fisheries. Of the top 10 stocks on which the UK’s fishing industry relies, only three – mackerel in the north-east Atlantic, haddock in the North Sea, and langoustines in the west of Scotland – are in a healthy state and not overfished, according to an audit of 104 stocks by the charity Oceana. Catches of cod in the North Sea should be reduced substantially, by about 13 to 16%, the group said, and no cod at all should be fished in the Celtic Sea, if stocks are to be saved from severe depletion. Herring, whiting and blue whiting are also showing signs of strain and should be given more chance to recover, according to the report. Of shellfish, scallops in the eastern English channel and crab in the southern North Sea were also found to be overfished. Melissa Moore, head of UK policy at Oceana, told the Guardian that reductions in catches now would yield… Read full this story
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