Iceland and Faroe Islands threatened over mackerel dispute with EU

The EU plans to bring forward its decision on sanctions against Iceland and the Faroe Islands over the ongoing mackerel dispute. Irish officials say it will be difficult to discuss fishing in Iceland’s accession talks before the dispute is resolved.

A two-day summit of European fisheries and agriculture ministers began in Brussels yesterday, RÚV reported.

At the end of the first day, Ireland’s fisheries and agriculture minister, Simon Coveney, told RTÉ that the attendees had discussed the British and Irish proposal to bring forward the decision on sanctions.

The proposed sanctions would centre on restrictions of the sale of mackerel product and fishing technology to EU member states from Iceland and the Faroes.

The Irish minister said it is important to take decisive action against exploitation if the mackerel stock is to be saved from collapse.

Coveney continued that he still supports Icelandic EU entry, but that it will be difficult to negotiate the fisheries chapter in the coming months without the dispute being concluded beforehand.

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