Fish quota boost after Norway and EU talks
Significant increases in fishing quotas for Scottish fishermen have been agreed for key stocks next year, according to ministers.
The deal followed talks between the EU and Norway.
It was agreed that the total allowable catch (TAC) for cod can increase by 15% and North Sea herring by 16%.
Haddock catches have been given a 30% boost with an extra 17% for vessels affected by the discard ban, taking the total increase to 47%.
Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "These significant increases for both haddock and cod, in line with scientific advice, are good news for the fishing industry.
"Following a year which saw landings up by nearly a fifth and revenues worth over £500m these increases in quota mean fishermen can further boost catch and profits and could be worth over £15m.
"This will also help the fleet manage the discard ban, which will stop dead haddock being thrown back into the sea, which will in turn improve the stocks of fish."
Conservative MEP for Scotland Ian Duncan said decisions for every species have yet to be taken, but he voiced his delight with the outcome reached on Friday.
He said: "Let me be clear, on the whole this is a fantastic result for the Scottish fishing industry and I pay tribute to them and all the hard work and pain they have endured over the last decade or so to be in a position today that sees cod TAC increase by 15% to 27,930 tonnes in EU waters.
"Considering where we were not that long ago, this in itself would be incredible.
"But the news for haddock; an increase of almost 50% and north sea herring; an increase of 16% on top of the cod figures leaves the industry in very good heart this evening."
Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, said: "This agreement reflects the healthy nature of our stocks and will bring some welcome relief to our hardworking fishermen who are committed to a sustainable future.
"Challenges remain, and while the quota uplift for haddock and other stocks to cope with the discard ban will be welcomed, only time and a great deal of effort from fisheries managers, the Scottish fleet and the supply chain as whole will help ensure the discard ban scheme works when it is phased in from 1 January 2016."