EU lifts measures against Faroe Islands

20 Aug 2014
The Faroe Islands has agreed to cease unsustainable fishing of Atlanto-Scandian herring. Photo: Claus Ableiter

The Faroe Islands has agreed to cease unsustainable fishing of Atlanto-Scandian herring. Photo: Claus Ableiter

The European Commission has lifted measures set against the Faroe Islands in August 2013 following their unsustainable fishery on Atlanto-Scandian herring, but the dispute continues.

The measures imposed will now be lifted as of 20 August 2014. The decision comes after the Faroe Islands agreed to stop their unsustainable fishing and reduce their catch limit considerably in 2014 to 40,000 tonnes. According to current scientific assessments, this new catch limit does not put the conservation efforts of the coastal Sates sharing the stock in jeopardy.

But, the Commission says the lifting of the measures does not represent a tacit agreement that 40,000 tonnes is the legitimate share of the stock for the Faroe Islands. The decision is also “without prejudice” to the consultations that will take place in the autumn among the five coastal States (Norway, Russia, Iceland, Faroe Islands and the EU) on the future sharing of the stock.

Nevertheless, the Commission says the lifting of the measures represents a clean slate in the EU’s relations with the Faroe Islands, a country viewed as a potential strategic partner on pelagic fisheries in the north-east Atlantic.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, is set to meet Mr Vestergaard, Minister of Fisheries of the Faroe Islands, to set the basis for a new era of cooperation.

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