Following the collapse of talks in London yesterday between the EU, Norway, Iceland and the Faroes on the on-going mackerel war, Struan Stevenson, Senior Vice President of the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee and a Scottish Conservative Euro MP, is calling for sanctions on Iceland and the Faroes in a bid to save existing mackerel stocks.
Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Stevenson commented: "The talks predictably broke up again yesterday with no resolution. Iceland and the Faroes once again held out for an unrealistic 15 per cent share each of the overall mackerel quota. They have not budged from this position for the past two years. We are clearly wasting our time trying to negotiate with them and the time for sanctions has arrived.
“Each country set a unilateral catch quota for this year of 150,000 tonnes. These two nations, who boast about their sustainable fishing policies, will virtually exterminate the mackerel stock. Both countries have previous track records when it comes to over-exploiting fish, having decimated blue whiting stocks after engaging in Olympic fishing and refusing to comply with international agreements.
Struan concluded: "The European Parliament voted for tough sanctions at our last plenary session in Strasbourg in September. The Commission now has this weapon at its disposal and it is time to wheel out the artillery and show these two bandit nations that we will not tolerate the unsustainable ravaging of a shared fish stock in this way.
"Iceland thinks that we are frightened to impose sanctions against cod imports into the EU because it would affect British processing plants. But I have met with the Norwegian Fisheries Minister who has assured me that Norway has many thousands of tonnes of cod readily available and would be more than willing to fill any vacuum left by a ban on Icelandic cod. Iceland and the Faroes should beware, because they could permanently lose market share to Norway if sanctions are imposed by the EU."
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