Claims of cod being endangered are “nonsense”, according to Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) executive officer Simon Collins.
The SFA are urging government ministers to think twice about cutting cod quotas, citing figures which estimate there are 285 million cod in the North Sea.
The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) is recommending a reduction in the total allowable catch (TAC) for North Sea cod of 10.3 per cent.
But Mr Collins has said ICES figures had been “wrong in the past” and were “catastrophically wrong” now.
“There are many more North Sea cod than there are rats and mice in the UK, and almost four times more than the most common land mammal, the field vole,” he said.
“And yet green NGOs constantly go around describing cod as ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered’ or at risk of ‘extinction’.
“They should be ashamed of themselves for peddling such nonsense.”
The SFA has called on ministers to create an independent panel to analyse the ICES figures before making any decisions on quotas.