The pelagic industry has condemned Norway and Faroe for persisting with increased catch quotas for mackerel – calling it a wilful attack on sustainability.
Each country increased its quota share by 55 per cent last year, and intend to maintain those tonnages in 2022.
Shetland Fishermen’s Association executive officer Simon Collins called on the UK government to deny all third countries access to UK waters to catch mackerel, unless those countries agree to sustainable quotas.
“That denial of access is the only way we are going to get Norway, Faroe, Iceland and others to agree a sharing arrangement based on where the fish actually are.
“Setting quotas well in excess of what sustainable management requires is irresponsible and short-sighted.”
And Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association president Ian Gatt said the move from Norway and Faroe was “disgraceful”.
“The term quota implies some sort of constraint on the amount of fish caught, but this is not so much a quota as a target, well in excess of what either country’s fleet can catch.
“They are looking to protect their fleets and allow their vessels to fish as long and as hard as they can. That is not what sustainability is about.
“Norway in particular has always traded on a good reputation for managing stocks sustainably.
“This tramples all over that reputation.”