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Scottish Fishermen Welcome Support for Sanctions

SCOTLAND, UK - The Scottish fishing industry has welcomed the unanimous vote by the European Parliament Fisheries Committee in support of trade sanctions against countries that engage in unsustainable fishing practices.

It is hoped that the resolution at Tuesday's meeting will ease the way for the introduction of trade sanctions by the EU against Iceland and the Faroes in response to their massive unilateral quotas for mackerel that lie outwith any international management agreement.

In particular, Scots fishermen have welcomed the support by Fisheries Committee to widen the scope of application of the trade sanction measures to include all fish and products, which will considerably enhance the effectiveness of any future sanction measures. After a plenary vote in the European Parliament on this resolution scheduled for June this year, the European Council will then give its opinion on the proposed sanction measure.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermens Federation, said: This is an important step in ensuring that a meaningful package of sanction measures is brought forward against Iceland and the Faroes. Both countries must be brought to task for their unsustainable fishing practices and made to realise that such actions will not be tolerated by the responsible international fisheries community.

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermens Association, said: We congratulate the European Parliament Fisheries Committee for their unanimous support for sanction measures and also the need to broaden their scope.

It is vital that every effort is taken to ensure the health of our precious mackerel stock and all European Governments must now throw their full support behind these proposals so as to ensure that the EU introduces these sanction measures as a matter of urgency.

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Lucy Towers

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