The European Fisheries Council today (22 December) agreed upon a deal designed to balance the needs of the fishing industry and the marine environment.

The agreement, which imposes fishing quotas on areas where EU vessels are active (excluding the Baltic), reduces the Total Allowable Catches (TAC) in 2006 for species that are becoming increasingly rare and increases the TAC for those that scientific advice suggests can support it. Major TAC reductions apply to cod, herring, whiting and spurdog, while TAC increases are applicable to prawns, monkfish and place.

Ben Bradshaw, chair of the Fisheries Council during the UK Presidency, said: "We have achieved a good deal on fisheries in accordance with the aims we set ourselves at the start of the UK's Presidency and I believe this agreement, in line with the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy, will help conserve fish stocks, preserve the marine environment and help the long term future of the fishing industry."