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The European Commission has proposed the establishment of a long-term recovery plan for a number of cod stocks threatened with collapse.

Despite the measures that have been put in place over the past two years, the Commission said that more cod continue to be removed from stocks than are replaced by reproduction.

After close consultation with the industry, the Commission is proposing to replace the current temporary measures with long-term ones on the basis of a strategy for the recovery of the stocks concerned.

As at present, these measures will involve low catch quotas, limits on fishing effort and specific control and monitoring rules to ensure their implementation. However, the difference is that these measures will be taken within the framework of a long-term strategy that aims to rebuild the cod stock to sustainable levels. The estimated time frame for achieving the recovery objectives is five to ten years.

The Commission said this multi-annual plan is the first in a series of long-term recovery and management plans which it will propose according to the needs of the stocks concerned. The Commission added that it would shortly present a separate recovery plan for hake.