Aquaculture for all

Fishermen Highlight Need for Fair Mackerel Deal

Sustainability Politics

EU - European Union mackerel fishermen are meeting with EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki in Brussels today (21 October) to discuss crucial negotiations that will resume later this week (23 to 25 October) in London with Iceland and the Faroes to try and resolve the protracted dispute over mackerel quotas.

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The EU and Norway are in dispute with Iceland and the Faroe Islands following their move four years ago to unilaterally increase their mackerel quotas by massive amounts outwith an international management plan.

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We will be telling the Commissioner that because of the recent independent science confirming the north-east Atlantic mackerel stock is in robust health that the EU must not be pressurised into rushing into a deal, and that any agreement struck must not compromise the interests of the UK and EU fleets who have been sustainably harvesting mackerel within a management plan.

“We will remind the Commissioner that the negotiating strategy should be pursued jointly with our colleagues in Norway, and that under no circumstances should any agreement contain the provision that would enable Iceland to fish for mackerel off the Scottish coast.

“We will also be telling her of the importance of mackerel to the UK and other parts of the EU, which supports a large number of jobs in the processing and associated onshore industries. It would be a tragedy if some of these traditional jobs were lost so as to reward others for their irresponsible behaviour.”

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