Commenting on the announcement at the Fish Council meeting in Brussels (13 May), Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We welcome this first step towards delivering a sanctions measure against the Faroese for their over-fishing of herring, which hopefully will provide new impetus that will also help resolve the issue of their excessive catching of mackerel.
“We believe that any sanctions brought against Faroe for the over-fishing of the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock should also apply to mackerel because they catch both species together in what is essentially a mixed fishery.
“We are disappointed there has been no significant further movement with regards to implementing sanctions against both Iceland and the Faroes for their over-catching of mackerel. In the case of Iceland, we urge the EC to seek an urgent meeting with the new Icelandic Government to try and get the negotiating process moving again. If this does not happen, then sanctions must immediately be implemented as a matter of course because every other avenue will have been reasonably explored without there being any breakthrough in resolving this dispute.”