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Giving cod a break

Worried by declining North Sea cod stocks, Norway and the European Union have agreed to reduce cod fishing in the North Sea by 45 percent next year.

The total quota for 2001 was set at 48,600 tonnes, which is down from this year's 81,000 tonnes. Under the agreement, 17 percent of the total will go to the Norwegian fishing fleet. "Practically speaking, the quota is as low it possibly could be while still allowing any fishing in the North Sea," said Sigrun Holst of the Norwegian Fisheries Department.