Concerned that some fish populations are bottoming out, the European Commission has proposed deep new cuts in fishing quotas. For example, cod catches in the Kattegat strait between Denmark and Sweden would be reduced by 60 percent; haddock catches in the Irish Sea by 52 percent; and sole in the North Sea by 25 percent. Fisheries Commissioner Franz Fischler said some fish species would disappear unless the dramatic cuts were approved. Meanwhile, about 400 government officials and environmentalists have been meeting in Paris this week to draft recommendations to protect the world’s oceans, in preparation for next year’s Earth Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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