The Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, which is a constituent member of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, was due to attend the meeting in the Faroese capital Torshaven but gave its formal notification of withdrawal. Other EU fishing representative organisations have done likewise. It is also believed that there will be no official EC or EU member state representation.
However, the Scottish fishing industry is fully supportive of Struan Stevenson, Senior Vice President of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee, who will attend the meeting in order to highlight the concerns of the EU over the ‘irresponsible’ decision by Iceland and Faroes to significantly increase their mackerel quotas.
Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We wanted to send a very clear signal to the Faroese and Icelanders that their dangerous and irresponsible decision to significantly increase their mackerel quotas is not something the international community will tolerate.
“It goes against scientific advice and will have a detrimental impact on a stock that has been looked after and sustainably fished by the Scottish fleet. The irresponsible actions of both nations could undo the years of hard work and sacrifice made by the Scottish industry.
“The only way this issue is going to be resolved is through direct talks. We are committed to ensuring a satisfactory deal is struck, but not at any price. It is particularly important that any final agreement ensures that the mackerel stock is properly protected.”