The decision comes after it was agreed that the Faroe Islands would cease their unsustainable fishery and would adopt a catch limit for herring in 2014 at 40,000t. This level is considerably lower than the one the Faroes had adopted in 2013 and which, according to the current scientific assessments, does not put in jeopardy the conservation efforts of the coastal States sharing the stock.
However, the lifting of the measures does not represent a tacit agreement by the EU that 40,000t is the legitimate share of the stock for the Faroe Islands. It is merely indicative of the fact that the sustainability of the stock is no longer in jeopardy. The decision is also without prejudice to the consultations that will take place in the autumn among the five coastal States (Norway, the Russian Federation, Iceland, Faroe Islands and the EU) on the future sharing of the stock.
The lifting of the measures represents a clean slate in the EU's relations with the Faroe Islands, a country viewed as a potential strategic partner on pelagic fisheries in the north-east Atlantic.
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki intends to meet Mr Vestergaard, Minister of Fisheries of the Faroe Islands, to set the basis for a new era of cooperation.