Quote Originally Posted by fishnewseu
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 14:25

THE EU’s pelagic fishing industry sector today called on the European Commission to take “immediate action” to curb Iceland and Faroese mackerel catching policy.

The European Association of Fish Producer Organisations said that following Iceland’s decision to set an autonomous mackerel quota of 130,000 tonnes for 2010, last week the Faroe Islands decided to do the same by setting an autonomous mackerel quota of 85,000 tonnes.

Now the EU pelagic fishing industry urgently called on the EU commissioner for fisheries, Maria Damanaki, to “act quickly and decisively in reaction to this irresponsible behaviour of the two countries.”

The EU pelagic fishing industry organised in the European producers’ grouping were deeply concerned about the behaviour by Iceland and Faroe Islands by setting large autonomous mackerel quota outside the existing mackerel management and scientific advice.

“This outrageous behaviour could seriously jeopardise the currently healthy mackerel stock with huge negative economic consequences for the EU industry as a result,” they said.

Therefore the EU industry called upon the EU to act quickly and decisively by taking the following actions:

1. Immediate suspension of the current (2010) bilateral fisheries agreement between the EU and the Faroe Islands;
2. Request the same from the Norwegian government in the light of the existing 10 year mackerel agreement between the EU and Norway;
3. Publicly denounce the setting of a 85,000 tonnes autonomous mackerel quota by the Faroe Islands government and point out that this behaviour is akin to IUU fishing;
4. Develop and execute immediate EU trade sanctions against the Faroe Islands and Iceland. More precisely, set an immediate import ban for all seafood products originating from Faroe Islands and Iceland;
5. Close the EU ports and EEZ’s for all Icelandic and Faroe fishing vessels;
6. Place Icelandic and Faroese vessels fishing for mackerel on the IUU black list;
7. Seek an immediate suspension by Iceland of its declared 130,000 tonnes mackerel quota in the accession negotiations starting today.

Gerard van Balsfoort, chair of the European association’s Northern Pelagic Working Group said: “The EU must be prepared to stand up for and protect Community pelagic fishermen against this outrageous behaviour. We are not prepared to stand idly by what is happening now and we will not accept any mackerel quota reductions, caused by the irresponsible overfishing carried out by both countries.”