The whiting is listed in the UK Biodiversity Grouped Action Plan for commercial marine fish. Being a species that is found in international waters, it has proved very difficult to impose restrictions on the number of fish that can be harvested from the sea without reducing fish stocks below the important Safe Biological Limits (SBL) figure. The whiting is listed in the part of the UK Grouped Action Plan dealing with fish stocks in the Celtic Sea, and the total allowable catch (TAC) figure for this region was cut to 35% in 2001. At the moment, it appears that elsewhere the whiting's populations have not dropped below the SBF. It remains to be seen whether implementation of the rules and recommendations in the current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) will allow population levels to stabilise and recover. One side effect of the original CFP has been to remove inefficient fishing boats from the fleets, allowing heavy overfishing by the 'factory' trawlers. This, coupled with the pressure on individual governments to support their country's own fishing fleets, has led to the harvesting of 'black fish', catches above and beyond a country's legal quota.