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EU May Ban Landings Of Icelandic Mackerel


EU - Reports indicate that EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki will tell a meeting of the European Economic Area (EEA) in Brussels today that Icelandic landings will be banned immediately.

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said this marked a first important step into what will hopefully lead to even stronger sanctions in response to Iceland’s failure to reach a satisfactory resolution on international mackerel quotas.

Mr Gatt said he hoped these initial sanctions will send a strong message to Iceland – and the Faroes – that the unilateral setting of massively increased quotas threatens the sustainability of a vital north-east Atlantic stock and will not be tolerated by responsible fishing nations.

He said: “We welcome this move by the EU as an important first step and we would like to see the sanctions increased further to cover frozen mackerel imports and also fishmeal made from unsustainably caught Icelandic mackerel.

“We would also like the same sanctions to apply to the Faroes. They are not a member of the EEA so a quick co-decision-making process by the European Parliament and the EC is required to ensure that the Faroese will also face sanctions for their irresponsible behaviour.

“In addition, talks by Iceland to join the EU should be suspended as it is unthinkable that such negotiations should continue until a resolution to the dispute is reached that satisfies the member states concerned.”