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Call for Mackerel Mediator Backed in Parliament

Lucy Towers
08 February 2013, at 12:00am

SCOTLAND, UK - Backing from the First Minister for a mediator to resolve the ongoing dispute on mackerel fishing with Iceland and the Faroe Islands has been welcomed by a Highlands MSP.

Caithness, Sutherland and Ross SNP MSP Rob Gibson called for mediation over Iceland stock management arrangements for mackerel in the North East Atlantic during First Ministers Questions in the Scottish Parliament.

In his response the First Minster agreed that there should be an international mediator as proposed by Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead and made clear how seriously he regards the situation that is creating the risk of overfishing and damaging Scotlands pelagic fleet.

Speaking after FMQs, Mr Gibson said: "It is clear that there needs to be meaningful and productive talks over this situation as too many rounds of talks have not moved us closer to a solution.

"Obviously something needs to change and Richard Lochheads idea of international meditation is one that needs to happen.

If the Icelandic government is serious about find a solution to this ongoing situation, then I sincerely hope that it is open to discussing this proposed cut in a diplomatic setting.

That is the right way to proceed and secure an outcome that does not continue to damage Scotlands fishing interests further.