Scottish fishermen step up sactions call

Scottish fishermen have expressed disappointment at the failure of a meeting) between EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, Norway’s Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, Icelandic Fisheries Minister Steingrímur Sigfússon and Jacob Vestergaard, Minister of Fisheries of the Faroe Islands, to make any progress in resolving the continuing dispute over mackerel quota allocations in the north east Atlantic.

Responding to this latest failure, Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association chief executive, Ian Gatt, said: “We are disappointed that there was no breakthrough, but if a fair deal wasn’t on the table for the EU and Norway, then we support the negotiating position adopted by Commissioner Damanaki.

“If it is not possible to reach agreement at this high level, then one has to question whether there is any hope at all for the next round of talks scheduled for October.”

Scottish Fisheries Secretary, Richard Lochhead, added: “Recent years show that Iceland and the Faroes have a track-record in demonstrating a lack of willingness to compromise and reach a fair deal for mackerel, therefore it is disappointing but sadly predictable that these latest talks have failed to offer a new way forward.

“It’s unacceptable for any state to compromise the sustainability of a shared fishery by setting hugely inflated quotas. That’s why we need the EU to press on with its long-promised sanction proposals and implement them as soon as possible.”