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Mackerel Talks Resume Tomorrow

Sustainability Economics +1 more

EU - A new round of talks will resume tomorrow (9 December) in Copenhagen to try and reach agreement with the Faroes on mackerel catching for 2011.

The meeting between the EU, Norway and the Faroes follows Iceland’s ‘irresponsible’ step of walking out of the last set of talks without reaching a compromise agreement on mackerel management in the north-east Atlantic to ensure the sustainability of the fishery, says the Scottish Fishermen's Federation. Since then, Iceland has declared its intention to set its own unilateral quota of 16-17 per cent of the Total Allowable Catch for 2011 even though it never even participated in the fishery prior to 2005.

Despite this setback, Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, which is a constituent member of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, is hopeful that a three-party agreement can be reached with the Faroes by the end of this week.

“The Faroese are one of our nearest neighbours and have been a long-standing partner in mackerel management for over 20 years. We are encouraged that they are still willing to talk and hopefully this will pave the way for an agreement with other coastal states over the next couple of days. However, whilst reaching a deal is important, it must not be done so at any cost and it needs to ensure that Scotland’s traditional mackerel catching rights are not compromised.

“The mackerel stock in the north-east Atlantic is an incredibly precious resource that requires careful and integrated management to ensure future sustainability and it was extremely disappointing that Iceland took the irresponsible stance of walking out of the last set of talks.”