Aquaculture for all

Another Good Result for British Fisherman but Faroe Islands Withdrawal from Herring Management Plan

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

UK - The coastal states negotiations on blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring have just concluded in London, with more positive results for the UK. However, the Faroe Islands have withdrawn from international sharing arrangements for the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock.

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At talks in London, the Faroe Islands decided to withdraw from international management for the stock and instead set its own unilateral quota, whilst all other parties (the EU, Iceland, Norway and Russia) have agreed to continue to participate under an agreed management plan.

A total allowable catch of 619,000 tonnes has been set for the fishery this year, a reduction of 26 per cent, of which the UK is allocated just over 8,000 tonnes. Despite the Faroese withdrawal, the other countries have still set aside the normal share for Faroes, which would have been almost 32,000 tonnes.

Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon said: After a succession of good results for British fisherman the UK has secured yet another positive agreement on the management of stocks for North Atlantic blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring. This is good news for both the industry and the health of our seas.

Im disappointed and frustrated that once again the Faroe Islands have pulled out of an existing international agreement, this time on Atlanto-Scandian herring because they want a bigger quota. This further demonstrates their irresponsible attitude to international fisheries management and could risk damaging the future sustainability of this stock.

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermens Association, also said: This is totally irresponsible behaviour by the Faroe Islands for which there is absolutely no justification. As is already the case with mackerel, the Faroese seem intent on pursuing their own national interests with no concern for the health of the stock or acknowledgment of the need for the fishery to be controlled by an international management plan.

It is essential that the EU now moves quickly to implement sanctions against the Faroese for their unsustainable actions and ensure that they are denied access to lucrative EU markets for their fish products.

The Faroese are acting like pirates. Of key importance is the need for Denmark to exert its considerable influence to try and resolve the Faroese overfishing of key stocks. I met with UK Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon today, and amongst other issues, I urged him to press his Danish counterparts to find an urgent solution that will make the Faroese see sense.

A meeting will be held in June to discuss advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) on the long-term management plans.

Atlanto-Scandian herring is a distinct stock of herring that is found in the north-east Atlantic and is separate from North Sea and West of Scotland herring.

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