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SFF Ask Faroe To Reduce Mackerel Quota

UK - The Scottish Fishermens Federation is urging the Faroese to reverse their decision to increase their mackerel quota, and rejoin the previously operated international regime of sensible, sustainable and rational fisheries management.

Last year Iceland declared their intent to unilaterally increase their North-East Atlantic mackerel quota for 2010 to 130,000 tonnes. Now the Faroese have followed suit by setting their own autonomous quota of 85,000 tonnes for this year.

Bertie Armstrong, SFF chief executive said: “It must not be forgotten that the origins of this lie in Iceland deciding to unilaterally set their own quota far in excess of any international agreement and outside any safe parameters for the sensible management of the mackerel stock.

“It is astonishing that the Faroese have decided to join Iceland by following this same ruinous path, given that such an increase in catch uptake could have serious implications for the sustainability and overall health of the mackerel stock.

“For the last 30 years the Faroese have a good track record of forming bilateral agreements with the EU and others for the sensible and rational management of north-east Atlantic shared fish stocks and we are astonished that they seem to be putting all this in jeopardy by this irrational decision.

“We urge the Faroese to come back into the fold of sensible fisheries management that they have been part of for the last 30 years. Otherwise there could be serious consequences for international fisheries management that will damage all stakeholders.

“As far as Iceland is concerned, we are of the firm view that their action should impact upon their plans for accession to the EU. No country should be allowed into the membership of the EU that cannot demonstrate its ability to behave within reason.

“Scotland has been to the fore in ensuring that its mackerel fishery is harvested responsibly and sustainably and has engaged in full compliance of the regulations. Provisional figures show that in 2009 mackerel was worth £135m at first sale value, which represents a third of the value of landings by the Scottish fleet. Such an important sector of our fishing industry must not be jeopardised by the irresponsible actions of other nations.”

the Fish Site Editor

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