MSP calls for sanctions on Iceland and Faroe over mackerel impasse

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The Scottish government should support the imposition of sanctions on Iceland and Faroe after the collapse last week of a fifth round of talks over the mackerel fishery, according to isles MSP Tavish Scott.

Iceland and Faroe, which have massively increased their quotas, were accused by the EU and Norway of failing to engage in proper negotiations in Reykjavik, prompting fishermen to demand direct action.

Mr Scott said today: “Iceland and Faroe have decided to fish as much mackerel as they can in 2012. That’s what they did in 2011 and got away with it. So their fishermen’s activities which are strongly backed by their own governments are hardly a surprise. Endless negotiating meetings have taken place in endless European countries. Last week all the negotiators were dragged up to Reykjavik and even when in Iceland there was absolutely no progress to resolve this fishing crisis.

“I want the Scottish government to support the sanctions which can be imposed by the EU. Perhaps the fact that damaging sanctions are to be imposed will lead to a negotiated settlement but it can’t be one that hammers the local industry. Mackerel is a vital species for the local fleet and Shetland Catch so our economy needs a sensible settlement as much as the rest of Scotland and the EU.”

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