Commission warns Faroes about herring sanctions

21 May 2013
Klaksvík harbour in the Faroe Islands. Credit: Vincent van Zeijst/CC BY-SA 3.0

Klaksvík harbour in the Faroe Islands. Credit: Vincent van Zeijst/CC BY-SA 3.0

The Faroe Islands have been formally notified by the European Commission that the Commission intends to adopt measures in support of the sustainability of herring fisheries.

These measures could mean that imports of herring caught by the Faroes and access of Faroese vessels in EU harbours are restricted.

This notification is a preliminary step which aims at giving the Faroe Islands an opportunity to be heard in advance.

The stock of Atlanto-Scandian herring is fished by Norway, the Russian Federation, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the European Union. The Faroe Islands withdrew from consultations on the management of the Atlanto-Scandian stock for 2013 and announced that they would set up an autonomous quota at a level 145% higher than their 2012 quota. This was set against a context in which all other parties to the fishery had agreed to reduce their quotas by 26% for conservation reasons.

The Commission says that this means the sustainability of the stock is highly compromised and its recovery possibilities largely diminished. This Commission action aims to ensure sustainability to avoid a collapse of the stock which would mean that many fishermen and their families would lose their income.

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