Mackerel Talks Define Pelagic Fleet Future

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
11 October 2010, at 1:00am

SCOTLAND, UK - Crucial talks between the EU, Norway, Iceland and the Faroes to discuss mackerel quotas for 2011 will commence in London tomorrow (12 October).

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association will be pressing for a deal that does not jeopardise Scotland’s share in the international fishery and which also protects the stock from over-fishing.

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, says these will be among the most important talks the mackerel industry has ever faced and could define the future shape of the Scottish pelagic fishing fleet.

“This is a defining moment for our fishermen and the implications from the talks could shape the future direction of our industry,” he says.

At stake is the urgent need to find a resolution to the dispute over the decision by Iceland and the Faroes to self-allocate massively increased mackerel quotas this year.

“We have seen what uncontrolled fishing has done to the blue whiting stock with the latest scientific advice recommending a huge cut in quota by 93 per cent for next year,” says Ian Gatt. “This must not be allowed to happen to mackerel and it is essential that a sensible deal is reached this week.

“We previously had a long-term management plan in place for mackerel that has resulted in a healthy stock but this is now in jeopardy due to the irresponsible actions of Iceland and the Faroes.

“It is important that any deal reached this week results in a new long term international management plan for mackerel that is in line with scientific advice and protects Scotland’s historical share of the catch quota.”