EU fishing ministers have reached a compromise deal on further drastic cuts to avoid the collapse of cod stocks.

The deal on fishing quotas came after all-night talks in Brussels aimed at saving threatened species, reported the BBC. The 15 EU nations reached a unanimous decision on the long-term recovery plan, but 2004 catch quotas were agreed despite some opposition.

Spain, Denmark, France and Britain were desperate to protect their struggling fishing communities from more draconian restrictions, while Germany and Sweden wanted strict adherence to scientific advice calling for a ban on cod in key fishing grounds and big cuts in other catches.

Under the new quotas, fishermen will be allowed to catch nearly double the amount of haddock. Cod and hake catches will remain at last year's level.

Fisherman who are able to demonstrate that they catch only negligible or no cod while at sea will be permitted to fish on extra days.

To see the EU Commission's statement on the news, click here.