EU sanctions against Iceland and Faroes over mackerel dispute?

The deputy chairman of the European Union fisheries committee wants the fisheries ministers of Iceland and the Faroe Islands to be called urgently to Brussels in order to negotiate a solution to the escalating mackerel fishing dispute.

Struan Stevenson, a British Conservative MEP and deputy chairman of the EU Committee on Fisheries, believes that the EU should use the threat of sanctions against Iceland and the Faroes due to their large unilaterally-declared mackerel fishing quotas.

Stevenson says that Icelandic and Faroese over-fishing is putting the livelihoods of Scottish fishermen at risk. The website of the Daily Mail says that Scots are furious over Iceland and the Faroe Islands’ decision to increase their quotas massively. There has historically been next-to-no mackerel in Icelandic waters.

A decade ago, the country fished two tonnes a year; but this year has set a quota of 130,000 tonnes. Marine Research Institute surveys suggest that mackerel are migrating to Icelandic waters in huge numbers and that the quota is sustainable. Iceland has a reputation for taking good care of its fish stocks; but the EU does not believe that is currently the case with mackerel.

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