The operation to raise the Kursk submarine has raised fears of radioactive contamination affecting the Barents Sea's fish stocks. Norway has recently won important changes in the net size that EU vessels can use in a bid to preserve fish stocks against the background of quota cuts and possible return of fishing ground restrictions. A recent report by Plimsoll Publishing predicted that during the next 12 months, 53% of UK fish processors could fail if conditions within the fish industry did not improve. Smaller fish processing companies do not have the resources or worldwide buying ability to compete and invest in new equipment and product development. The Scottish Fishing Associations have already put forward a plan to the Scottish Executive to pare down the Scottish fishing, processing and distribution industry. Financial support has been requested. For many failing processors their best hope is to be bought by a large company able to reinvest. If the cod quota is used for this year, then the fishing grounds will close and this could act as the final catalyst in the need to restructure the UK processing industry. {{M/E MEAT }}

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