Mackerel sanctions against Iceland and Faroe imminent, says minister
The European Union is in the advanced stages of planning for sanctions against Iceland and Faroe after the breakdown in talks on a mackerel agreement.
Iceland plans to take 147,000 tonnes of the valuable fish this year and Faroe 150,000 tonnes, which the EU has warned will turn a sustainable fishery into an unsustainable one.
Scottish fisheries minister Richard Lochhead said he had spoken to fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki to press for urgent action to curb such overfishing.
Mr Lochhead said: “I spoke with commissioner Damanaki today, to urge the EU to follow through on its promises and put in place sanctions against Iceland and the Faroes. We must address their flagrant disregard of the responsibility to fish the mackerel stock sustainably.
“The Commissioner agreed that the current situation is unacceptable and tough action is needed. She assured me that concrete proposals from the EU are imminent and that an announcement is expected in the coming days.
“The time for talking is at an end, as Iceland and the Faroes have demonstrated they have no genuine interest in seeking international agreement. Therefore, I welcome the stance of commissioner Damanaki and look forward to meaningful actions being taken by the EU as soon as possible.”