Faroese sanctions kick in

28 Aug 2013
Mackerel wars – the EU ban on imports has come into force against the Faroes

Mackerel wars – the EU ban on imports has come into force against the Faroes

European Union sanctions are now in force banning all imports of Faroese herring, mackerel and associated products, if caught in Atlanto-Scandian waters.

The worry is now that the ban will pose an insurmountable challenge for Faroese exporters because in 2012 roughly 55% of the value of Faroese mackerel and herring exports was sent to the EU for importing or for transit.

The ban follows the Faroese decision to break out of the long term management plan and the pre-established shares of Total Allowable Catch (TAC) it had with Norway, Russia, Iceland and the EU.

Following failure to resolve the issue, the Commission decided to make use of the powers granted by the Trade Instrument in order to encourage the Faroe Islands to contribute to the conservation of the stock. These measures received the clear support of Member States in the Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture on 31 July 2013.

The measures also include restrictions of the use of EU ports by Faroese mackerel and herring vessels, meaning that they can only call in emergencies.

It’s not just the Faroe Islands that there is a mackerel war with.  A similar dispute exists with Iceland on the management of the North-East Atlantic mackerel stock. The Commission says it is now taking the initial steps towards the application of the Trade Instrument in this case also.

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