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In a heartening sign for fishermen and environmentalists alike, young cod stocks in the North Sea have improved, albeit slightly, for the second year in a row.
The International Council for Exploration of the Seas (ICES) has not called for a complete fishing ban in the North Sea for the first time in six years.
The ICES report, however, does show that pressure on the fish population was still high and populations low. The number of young fish has increased though, and the report calls for a 50% reduction of 2006 fishing numbers rather than a complete ban.
The report attributes the increase in the number of young fish to a decrease in fishing pressures as a result of government constraints on fishing levels.
It warns that unless restraints on the number of fish collected and illegal catches are continued, the fish population may start dropping again.
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