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Scottish MEP Criticises Faroe And Iceland Fishermen

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

SCOTLAND - Scottish MEP, Struan Stevenson, has launched a scathing attack on the Faroes and Iceland over the on-going mackerel dispute.

Speaking following a three-day visit to Shetland, Struan Stevenson, MEP, said he was appalled to see that stocks of European mackrel in the Faroes and Iceland are very likely to lose their MSC sustainable fisheries certification due to their “smash-and-grab raids” on Scotland's well-managed fisheries.

Mr Stevenson said, “They are behaving little better than common pirates and must be stopped.”

“The MSC accreditation was hard-won, following years of good conservation and management by EU and Norwegian fishermen. “

Mr Stevenson added: “Now, because of the greed of the Faroes and Iceland unilaterally seizing over 150,000 tonnes each of the mackerel stock this year, the scientific guidelines for safe maximum catch of this stock will be totally breached and the MSC will have little option but to withdraw its accreditation from all EU mackerel stocks. This is a disaster for our fishermen, who will lose their sustainable fisheries labelling due to no fault of their own.”

“It is a frustrating irony that the Faroes and Iceland are only in a position to plunder these stocks due to years of careful management of their stocks by EU fishermen.”

“I agree with the fishermen I spoke to in Shetland that the only way to make the real-life Jack Sparrows of the Faroes and Iceland see sense is for the European Commission to impose tough sanctions against imports of all fish products from those countries. This should include farmed salmon, a lot of which is fed on fish meal made from our mackerel.”

“The Commission and the Council of Ministers must also persuade Member States to exercise solidarity in our dealings with the Faroes and Iceland. There are already disturbing rumours of EU processing plants seeking to cash in on the Faroese and Icelandic mackerel haul and this is completely unacceptable. Such behaviour would ultimately undermine the EU's position and contribute to the total collapse of the North East Atlantic mackerel stock, “ Mr Stevenson concluded.