Anger over Faroes mackerel quota


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
March 26, 2013

Scottish fishermen are demanding sanctions against the Faroe Islands and Iceland after the two island states gave themselves more than half of the scientifically approved mackerel quota for 2013.

On Tuesday the Faroe Islands set an autonomous mackerel quota for 2013 of 159,000 metric tons (MT), 29.3 percent of the total allowable catch for the year. This comes about a month after Iceland set a quota of 123,000 MT or 22.7 percent of the TAC, meaning that the two counties will catch 52 percent of the TAC.

Scottish fishermen and representatives from Ireland, Denmark and the Netherlands on Tuesday met with Maria Damanaki, EU fisheries commissioner, to express concern over the continuing stalemate over the international agreement on the mackerel quota.

The groups pointed out that as recently as 2006, the Faroes and Iceland only shared 5 percent of the overall quota. They pressed Damanaki to implement the October 2012 agreement to implement trade sanctions against countries that fish unsustainably and irresponsibly in stocks with a shared interest with the EU.

“We told the commissioner that the unsustainable fishing practices of Iceland and the Faroes must not be allowed to continue any longer and that there must be the immediate implementation of trade sanctions that will hopefully provide the catalyst for reaching an agreement,” said Ian Gatt, Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association chief executive. “The onus is currently on both Iceland and the Faroes to return to the negotiating table, but so far neither country has shown any inclination to do so.”

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