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Faroe Mackerel Quota Warning
by Scott Goodbrand - 11:54 on 06 March 2012
Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael has today warned that if Faroe continues to ignore EU guidelines then they could turn a sustainable fishery into an unsustainable one.
Faroe has set its mackerel quota for 2012 at 148,375 tonnes. This is slightly lower than the level set in 2011, but will lead to overall levels far higher than what scientists regard as sustainable. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea has recommended a total allowable catch of 639,000 tonnes of mackerel for the northeast Atlantic. It is now estimated that fleets will catch more than 800,000 tonnes of mackerel this year.
Last month Iceland and the Faroe Islands failed to reach an agreement with the EU and Norway over this year’s fishing quota. The European Parliament is now planning to impose sanctions on the two countries.
Commenting, Mr Carmichael said:
“This continued overfishing is irresponsible and is causing great damage to the mackerel stock in the northeast Atlantic. The future of the stock is crucial to our local fleets and the economy as a whole, so it is vital that it remains sustainable.
“I am hugely disappointed that the negotiations broke down and Iceland and the Faroe Islands were once again unable to meet what are very reasonable guidelines.
“I will press the UK fisheries Minister Richard Benyon to back the sanctions that are set by the EU. Hopefully the prospect of damaging sanctions will bring about a sensible settlement with quotas at sustainable levels.
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