Scottish prawn and whitefish vessels are facing cuts of 7%-10% in the number of days they can spend at sea.

The measures, agreed by ministers at December's Fish Council in Brussels, came as a major disappointment to the industry. The time available to catch the fish has been cut by up to two days.

But quotas actually increased on some stocks in order to offset the reduction in the cod quota. The total allowable catch of haddock, for example, is up a significant amount. Mackerel is up 13% and Northern shelf monkfish 10%, although North Sea prawns are down by around 7%.

"There is no point in having quotas if we are physically incapacitated in the days we can catch it," said Bertie Armstrong, SFF chief executive.

The SFF wanted the current management regime to be rolled over into 2007, given that the whitefish fleet has been cut by 65% since 2000 and has suffered sequential reductions in days-at-sea.

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