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North Sea cod stocks critically low

International researchers said cod stocks in the North Sea have fallen so precipitously that cod fishing there should be prohibited in 2001.

Farther north, in the Norwegian and Barents seas, the situation is slightly better. There, the researchers from the ICES oceanographic institute proposed a Norwegian-Russian quota of 263,000 tonnes of cod, compared with this year's 390,000 tonnes. Norwegian and Russian authorities plan to meet later this month to negotiate the 2001 quota for the arctic cod.