Fishermen’s Association denounces European Commission

Fishing vessels.
Fishing vessels.

Following the announcement that the Faroes have set themselves a quota for Atlanto Scandian herring of 40,000 tonnes, Scottish fishermen have angrily denounced the European Commission for taking steps to remove trade sanctions against the Faroese.

The EC has said it would remove trade sanctions against the Faroes that were implemented last year in response to their unsustainable fishing practices for herring, which resulted in the Faroese setting a unilateral quota of around four times their traditional share (105,000 tonnes).

But now the Faroe Islands has announced a quota level for herring at 40,000 tonnes for 2014, which while lower than last year’s catch, is still double the figure they should be allocated under the previous Coastal States agreement.

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “It seems if you catch four times your quota then there will be retribution, but if that is reduced to doubling your allocation, then that is classified as a sustainable fishing practice. It really drives a coach and horse through the concept of sustainable fisheries management.”

He adds: “We urge both the Scottish and UK Governments to oppose with the strongest vigour this EC proposal to lift sanctions against the Faroese.”