Agreement finally reached on mackerel quotas

editorial image

The Scottish Fishermen’s Association announced last week that an agreement has been reached on catching opportunities for north-east Atlantic mackerel for 2015 following negotiations between the EU, Norway and the Faroes.

Under the agreement, which follows scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea that is underpinned by the precautionary principle, a total allowable catch of 1,054,000 tonnes has been set, which will give the UK a quota of around 245,363 tonnes.

Commenting on the news, Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We welcome that agreement has been reached at this stage in the negotiating process as it brings stability and certainty for the 2015 fishery.

“A new long-term management plan is also being worked upon for the mackerel stock and Scottish pelagic fishermen are committed to being closely involved in the development process.”

No deal has been reached with Iceland, but it is hoped further talks could take place.

The EU has been at loggerheads with Iceland and the Faroe Islands since they upped their quotas in 2010.

Scottish fishermen said sacrifices and concessions were being made by all sides, with Scots quotas dropping, but stocks were improving.