Agreement reached over mackerel

An agreement has been reached over catching north-east Atlantic mackerel for 2015 – following negotiations between the EU, Norway and the Faroe.

Under the agreement, which follows scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, a total allowable catch of 1,054,000 tonnes has been set, which will give the UK a quota of 245,363 tonnes.

Chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association Ian Gatt, said: “We welcome that agreement has been reached at this stage in the negotiating process as it brings stability and certainty for the 2015 fishery.

“A new long-term management plan is also being worked upon for the mackerel stock and Scottish pelagic fishermen are committed to being closely involved in the development process.”

Speaking after the end of the negotiations, Richard Lochhead Scottish Fisheries minister, said: “Mackerel is our most valuable fish for the Scottish industry and this agreement will provide some stability as we look ahead to next year.

“Although the Total Allowable Catch is down on the previous year – which had been set unusually high for one year – it is important that this agreement has set fishing levels according to the scientific advice.

“We remain committed to resolving the long term management plan for mackerel which will guide management of the stock in the years ahead and are currently waiting for further scientific advice which will inform this. All the interested parties will meet in the Faroe Islands early next year to agree the new plan.”


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