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EC Under Fire Over Lack Of Action On Mackerel

by the Fish Site Editor
29 June 2011, at 1:00am

SCOTLAND - The Scottish Pelagic Fishermens Association has hit out at the failure of the European Commission to agree on immediate action in the form of trade sanctions against Iceland and the Faroes at the EU AgriFish Council meeting in Luxembourg this week.

The Scottish fishermen wanted to see measures taken in response to what they consider massively increased unilateral quotas for mackerel.

Ian Gatt chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association said: “We are extremely disappointed that the EC has not seen the need to introduce immediate sanctions against Iceland and the Faroes.

“The mackerel fishery has just started and the slow approach taken by the EC means that a huge amount of damage could be done to this valuable stock in the intervening period. The EC should have introduced sanctions at the first available opportunity and their failure to do so is a missed opportunity that would have put real pressure on Iceland and the Faroes to resolve this dispute.

“Scottish mackerel fishermen have been repeatedly told about the tough line the Commission is going to take against Iceland and the Faroes but we are now 12 months down the road and absolutely no action has been taken so far.

“We support the three-point plan put forward by Scots Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead that includes an International Ministerial Summit and to investigate the feasibility of taking the case to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas."

the Fish Site Editor