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Cod stocks in North Sea 'increasing' says Ices report

image captionStocks could reach the minimum desired level of 70,000 tonnes

Cod stocks in the North sea have increased significantly in the past six years, according to a new report.

The report by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (Ices) predicts that stocks will reach the minimum desired level of 70,000 tonnes for the first time since 1998.

It is a key benchmark in the recovery of the fishery that came close to collapse.

Fishermen may, however, still face restrictions on what they can catch.

The report forms the basis for the European Commission's proposals for 2013 fishing opportunities for Scotland and other EU fleets, set to be decided in December.

Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "We are committed to sustainable fisheries, supporting the stock recovery that will in turn underpin the future success of the Scottish fishing industry."

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