The proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits in European waters has almost doubled in four years, according to the European Commission.
And the proportion of stocks regarded as “overfished” has halved over the same period.
Meanwhile there has been a 10-fold increase in the space of six years in the proportion of sustainably fished stocks, as measured by maximum sustainable yield (MSY).
The European Commission figures are part of a consultation on fishing opportunities for 2014.
“These are very positive signs from scientists that fish stocks are growing,” said Simon Collins of the Shetland Fishermen’s Association.
“They match the story told by our members who are on the grounds every day, that stocks are abundant.
“We’ve got to nail this myth that soon we are not going to be able to eat fish and chips because there will be no fish left.”
He added: “We hope the politicians and civil servants who dictate what fishermen can and cannot do take notice of these figures.”
The figures show that this year: 59% of stocks were inside safe biological limits compared to just over 30% in 2009; 39% of stocks were overfished compared to well over 80% in 2009; and 25% of stocks were fished at MSY compared to well under 5% in 2007.