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North Sea Cod numbers take 'significant fall' in past year

New scientific data is expected to show that North Sea Cod has fallen.

North Sea Cod: Data expected to show 'significant' fall.
North Sea Cod: Data expected to show 'significant' fall. ITV News

New scientific data is expected to show that North Sea Cod has fallen significantly in the past year.

The figures from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) will be released on Friday, along with scientific advice.

Fishing leaders say the number they've seen have made them 'sit-up' and they will put in place protective measures.

Bertie Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation said: "We saw this coming and it has happened before and we will not shirk the necessary action.''

It could mean fishermen having to avoid certain areas of the North Sea where there is a large gathering of Cod to allow the stocks to recover.

The fleet have worked hard to make sure Cod has recovered in the past; it resulted in the species gaining Marine Stewardship Council accreditation for sustainability in 2017.

That won't be lost because of today's announcement.

Mr Armstrong added: ''we have worked long and hard to make Cod recover because that's what the public see.

"We will do everything we can to make sure that everything is done to make sure we keep the accreditation."

The data from the group of governmental scientists could influence the quota of Cod for next year.

It will be particularly relevant to the fishing talks between the EU and Norway that will take place later in the year.

It could also see the price of Cod increase from next year. Cod is not usually targeted by most boats in the Scottish fleet but is a by-catch when fishing.

However, fishermen admit that the initial figures will be concerning for the Scottish fleet.

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