MP urges introduction of sanctions over mackerel dispute

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has urged the EU to impose sanctions against Faroe and Iceland following the decision to withdraw the sustainable status of the North Sea and north Atlantic mackerel fisheries.

He said the large quota increases introduced by the island governments damaged them as well as the EU and Norway, which have been seeking an international agreement on fishing activity.

It emerged yesterday that the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has withdrawn environmentally-friendly certification from eight mackerel fisheries and after Saturday produce from these will no longer be able to bear the body’s sustainable label.

Mr Carmichael said: “This decision is incredibly frustrating as it is wholly unnecessary. It illustrates the way in which the attitude of the Faroese and the Icelanders risk damaging us all, themselves included.

“This move from the MSC shows just damaging this quota increase could be to the long term future of what remains an enormously valuable resource. I know that UK ministers have been pressing the case of our local industry in Brussels. The intransigence we have seen from Iceland and the Faroes is not in anyone’s interest and does them no credit whatsoever.

“We are now at the stage where the EU needs to get tough with Iceland and the Faroese. Economic sanctions are not to be used lightly but there is a strong argument for their introduction in this case.”



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