Officials from the European Union are due to meet in Brussels today [Monday] with fishermen from countries bordering the North Sea Scotland, to discuss methods to protect the dwindling stocks of cod.

Scientists have long warned that cod stocks are at their lowest ever level and near collapse, despite the tough conservation measures in place to protect their numbers.

Scottish Fisheries Minister Rhona Brankin conceded last week that the common fisheries policy is not working and insisted that the Scottish Executive is committed to making seas sustainable, and would be working to develop better legislation.

The EU level talks are expected to be vital in forming an agreed plan between fishermen, scientists and governments about protection measures and catch limits

Other white fish species, such as haddock and whiting, exist in large numbers, but it is difficult for fishermen to catch one species without another.

Representatives from the Scottish Fishermen's Federation are due to present scientific evidence that by avoiding certain areas, fishermen are able to reduce the number of cod killed.