Trade sanctions against the Faroe Islands supported

Full details will be released upon adoption by the Commission. Credit: Claus Ableiter/ CC BY-SA 3.0 Full details will be released upon adoption by the Commission. Credit: Claus Ableiter/ CC BY-SA 3.0

The Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture has backed the European Commission’s proposal for a Regulation adopting trade measures with regard to the Faroe Islands.

The Committee discussed the overfishing of Atlanto-Scandian herring by the Faroe Islands following a decision by its government earlier this year to unilaterally treble their existing quota. The Faroese decision to unilaterally increase its quota by more than three times the allocations they would have got under the existing arrangements jeopardises the long term sustainability of the stock. It also constitutes a unilateral disruption of the joint management of a crucial fishery stock, says the Commission.

The final decision will now come back, upon proposal of Commissioner Damanaki, to the Commission which will discuss these measures, taking into account the opinions expressed in the Committee. A decision can be expected in August, and full details will be released upon adoption by the Commission.

The Government of the Faroes said that it views the intended measures as an unacceptable abuse of power by the EU.

Prime Minister Johannesen stated: “It is short-sighted and ill-considered of the EU to take such an unjustifiable step against one of its nearest European neighbours and partners. The Faroe Islands may be small, but we are strategically placed as an important stakeholder in shared pelagic fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic. It is difficult to see what purpose these measures serve other than to protect fishing industry interests within the EU.”

The Government is now considering which available international dispute settlement mechanisms should be pursued.

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