Scots trawler skippers have to dump up to £40 million worth of fish every year because of "crazy" European rules, it was announced by fisheries secretary Richard Lochhead.
The estimate came at a summit in Edinburgh where Mr Lochhead hit out at rules which he said had led to the economic and environmental "madness".
Of almost one million tonnes of fish discarded in the North Sea every year, around 100,000 tonnes are dumped by Scottish boats, it is estimated. This is the equivalent of one North Sea cod being thrown away for every one landed. One key reason for discarding fish is said to be a mismatch between small quotas and an increasing abundance of North Sea cod.