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Mackerel Talks with Faroes Fail to Reach Agreement


EU - The latest round of talks to try and reach agreement with the Faroes on mackerel catching arrangements for 2011 have broken down.

These talks were the final opportunity for the EU and Norway to forge an international coastal states management agreement for mackerel. Their failure means that the Faroese will now join Iceland in setting their own unilateral quotas for 2011 in a move that could jeopardise the sustainability of the important mackerel stock in the north-east Atlantic.

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “It is unbelievable that after four rounds of negotiations it was not possible to reach an agreement due to the unrealistic demands of the Faroese, and before then, Iceland.

“We would all like more fish but we need to abide by international agreements to ensure that the mackerel stock is harvested responsibly. We utterly condemn the unsustainable fishing practices that the Faroese and Icelanders are now about to embark upon.

“The EU and Norway made the right decision in not buckling under Faroese demands for an unreasonable amount of mackerel. We now call upon the EC to take immediate sanctions against Iceland and the Faroes in the trade of pelagic fish.”

Talks between the EU and Norway will resume tomorrow (10 December) on the setting of international mackerel quotas for their fleets, including Scotland.