Representatives of the UK pelagic industry, worth almost £500 million to the UK economy, have today urged the EU to approve trade sanctions on the Faroe Islands to block the export of herring and mackerel to the EU.
The EU Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture will meet to discuss the proposal for sanctions on Wednesday 31 July 2013.
The Scottish Pelagic Processors Association (SPPA), which represents mackerel and herring processors and has a close relationship with UK pelagic fisherman, also wants to see sanctions urgently imposed on Icelandic fisheries.
Ian McFadden, chairman of the SPPA, said: “Mackerel processing alone supports around 2,260 jobs in the UK with several hundred more involved in fishing.
“For several years now the Faroese and Icelandic fisheries have aggressively increased their quotas of mackerel and refused to negotiate with the EU and Norway, which have historically worked together to ensure sustainable fishing practices.
“This activity is a real threat to jobs in the UK and to the economy of some communities which rely on mackerel and herring as the main source of employment.
“We wholeheartedly back the UK and Scottish governments’ support for sanctions that block fresh and frozen landings of herring and mackerel. We can now conclude that other activity to encourage the Faroe Islands and Iceland to agree quotas are proving ineffective and more drastic action is required.
“While the vote on sanctions against the Faroe Islands is due tomorrow we also believe the EU will soon announce plans for sanctions against Iceland – the sooner this is formalised the better.”
In May this year the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) rated Icelandic mackerel a 4, based on the fishery’s decision to unilaterally drastically increase declared landings from historically 0-6% to 23% of the total recommended catch for all nations. The MCS also noted high levels of mixed herring catches with mackerel as fishing takes place during feeding season.
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