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EU pelagic industry appeals to Commissioner for resolution on mackerel stalemate
Published:  27 March, 2013

On 26 March 2013 EU fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki received representatives of the EU pelagic fishing industry to discuss the current situation of the management of both the North-East Atlantic mackerel stock and the Atlanto Scandian herring stock.

The fishing industry expressed great concern on the actual situation of a standstill in the coastal states negotiations and asked the Commissioner to implement quick and effective sanction measures in accordance with the very strong mandate given to her by both the European Parliament and Council against Iceland and the Faroe Islands with the aim to restore the sustainable management of the two stocks.

The meeting was set up to discuss the current situation of the management of both pelagic stocks where Iceland has set an autonomous mackerel quota for 2013 of 123,000 ton or 22.7% of the science based 2013 TAC and where Faroe Islands has set yesterday an autonomous mackerel quota of 159,000 ton or 29.3% of the 2013 TAC.

So, in 2013, both countries will catch 52% of the 2013 TAC, where only in 2006 their joint share in the mackerel catches was just over 5%.

Also yesterday, Tuesday, the Faroe Islands decided to set an  utonomous quota for Atlanto Scandian herring after stepping out of the five parties management agreement (Norway, EU, Iceland, Faroe, Russia) for this stock in January this year.

The autonomously set herring quota by Faroe Islands amounts to 105,000 ton - more than 3 times their share in accordance with the management plan. Both the Commissioner and the industry shared their concern on this outrageous behaviour of the two countries.

The industry representatives strongly pleaded for a quick introduction of effective trade sanction measures by the European Commission.

They pointed to the framework agreement (regulation 1026/2012) reached between the Council and the European Parliament in October 2012 which gave a very strong mandate to the European Commission to implement effective trade measures against countries that continue to fish in an unsustainable and irresponsible manner on stocks of shared interest with the EU.

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