Sanctions imposed against the Faroes

14 May 2013
The SPFA believes sanctions could also resolve the issue of the over fishing of mackerel. Photo: NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Centre

The SPFA believes sanctions could also resolve the issue of the over fishing of mackerel. Photo: NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Centre

The European Commission (EC) has outlined a scheme to impose sanctions against the Faroe Islands for its over fishing of herring, but the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association (SPFA) says this needs to be applied to mackerel as well to ensure the future of vital fishing stocks.

This follows the Faroes’ withdrawal from talks over internationally agreed herring quotas in January. Instead, the country set its own unilateral quota. A total allowable catch of 619,000 tonnes has been set for the fishery this year under the auspices of the international sharing arrangement.

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the SPFA, said: “We welcome this first step towards delivering a sanctions measure against the Faroese for their over fishing of herring, which hopefully will provide new impetus that will also help resolve the issue of their excessive catching of mackerel.”

The SPFA says it is disappointed there has been no further movement with the implementation of sanctions against both Iceland and the Faroes for their over catching of mackerel.

“We believe that any sanctions brought against the Faroese for the over-fishing of the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock should also apply to mackerel because they catch both species together in what is essentially a mixed fishery,” he explained.

The association is urging the EC to arrange a meeting with the new Icelandic Government to get the negotiating process moving again.

“If this does not happen, then sanctions must immediately be implemented as a matter of course because every other avenue will have been reasonably explored without there being any breakthrough in resolving this dispute,” Mr Gatt added.

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Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association (SPFA)

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European Commission

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