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Thread: EU "must act" to curb Faroe and Iceland

  1. #391
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    Mackerel deal will damage stocks says Iceland

    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...s_Iceland.html



    ICELANDIC fishing and environmental organisations have accused the European Union and Norway of agreeing to a deal which they say now threatens the stability of the North East Atlantic stock.

    For four years Iceland and the Faroe Islands have been locked in a prolonged and sometimes acrimonious dispute with Brussels and Oslo over the unilateral mackerel quotas they had given themselves – 145,000 tons in the case of Iceland and 150,000 tons for the Faroese.

    Both countries faced a threat of sanctions after they were accused of causing long term damage to the fishery. Now the finger of blame is pointing the other way.

    Two weeks ago the EU and Norway reached a deal with the Faroese which has given them a catch quota of 156,240 tons for this year – 6,000 tons higher than they set themselves 15 months ago.

    This has left Iceland out on a limb and the Reykjavik government is being urged to come in from the cold.

    But Kolbein Arnason, a director of the Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners Federation, has questioned whether his country should be part of a deal which he believes to be unsustainable and will lead to over-exploitation.

    He said: ‘In the light of previous statements by the European Union it is strange that a fishing deal has been reached for the next five years that is almost 18 per cent higher above the advice from ICES.

    The ICES recommendation (still to be rubber stamped) is for a total catch of 890,000 tons but under the deal the take will now be 1,470,000 tons.

    He believes the prospects for the stock are serious could greatly harm the fishery. He says the focus of any international arrangements must be on sustainable fishing.

    Mr Aranason said Iceland could have reached a deal in Edinburgh last week had it not been torpedoed by the Norwegians.

    He was backed in his criticism by the Iceland Environment and Natural Resources Committee which said the level of fishing that will result from the agreement was far from being sustainable and harm would result.

    Spokesman Sjurdur Skaale said given the possibility of frequent disagreements over this fishery, it was also vital any deal had a solid legal foundation.

  2. #392
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    Iceland hands itself 147,700 ton mackerel quota

    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...rel_quota.html



    ICELAND is to set itself a mackerel quota of almost 148,000 for 2014, reports from Reykjavik suggest.

    This represents 16.5 per cent of the total 889,886 which ICES, the International Council For the Exploration of the Seas, recommended should be taken from the North East Atlantic this year.

    The Reykjavik government is going alone on this issue because it was not party to the three-way agreement signed between the European Union, Norway and the Faroe islands six weeks ago. It now remains to be seen whether the EU and Norway will protest at this figure which some member states will no doubt feel is too high. It is still possible that the EU could try to step up sanctions against Iceland, although given the size of its own quota it could be accused of hypocrisy.

    Fisheries Minister Sigurdur Johannsson has issued a regulatory authority allowing the fleet to catch 147,721 tons which he says puts paid to the claim that Iceland had increased its quota demands during the negations in Edinburgh.

    The Minister accused the Faroes, Norway and the EU is giving themselves far more that ICES had recommended. The Iceland quota is shared out among different sections of the fleet with pelagic freezer trawlers receiving 103,121 tons handline boats receiving 6,000 tons and over 38,000 tons going to fresh fish trawlers and other types of vessel.

    Mr Johannsson said the percentage is similar to last year with the exception that small boats will receive a larger share. The Icelandic mackerel season usually begins around the middle of June and lasts for several weeks.

  3. #393
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/46-latest-...rel-quota.html

    EU backs Iceland’s mackerel quota

    THE EU is supportive of Iceland's recent decision to set its 2014 mackerel quota at 147,574 tonnes.

    EU spokesperson for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Helene Banner, stated: "Iceland's announcement of its unilateral mackerel quota is a positive step. It conforms to the share figure it had previously claimed in the Coastal State mackerel negotiations, namely, 11.9% of 1,240,000 tonnes. The EU has said from the outset that the door is open for Iceland to join the arrangement, and we could now be very close to reaching a deal which includes all four Coastal States: the European Union, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Iceland. We therefore urge Iceland to join the other three Parties at the negotiating table at the earliest opportunity so that we can work out the terms of a full four-Party Coastal State arrangement for mackerel."

    Three Coastal States (EU, Faroe Islands and Norway) agreed in London on a five-year arrangement for mackerel on 12 March 2014. This arrangement established a number of important principles, including a commitment to sustainable fisheries, a sharing between the Parties, and a commitment to establish a new long-term management plan in 2014 following ICES advice. Regrettably, Iceland was unable to come on board at that time. However, the arrangement made room for it to join at a later stage.

  4. #394
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/46-latest-...-conflict.html

    End in sight for herring conflict

    THE European Commission and the Faroe Islands have reached a preliminary agreement to end their dispute over herring in the North-East Atlantic.

    This agreement between European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, and the Minister of Fisheries of the Faroe Islands, Jacob Vestergaard, comes after a lengthy dialogue between Faroese and EU officials in recent months.

    As part of the understanding, the Faroe Islands agreed to put an end to their unsustainable herring fishing whilst the Commission would submit a draft regulation repealing the trade and access to EU port restrictions that were adopted against the Faroe Islands in August 2013. The regulation will be examined by EU Member States before it can be adopted.

    Both sides have also reached an understanding on the termination of proceedings initiated by the Faroe Islands, as a response to EU measures, at the World Trade Organization and in the context of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, stated: "After long and intensive negotiations, I am satisfied that we can soon consider the herring dispute as something of the past: Faroese fishermen will be able to come back to EU waters and European fishermen can continue their traditional fisheries in Faroese waters. Let's now focus on working hand in hand towards sustainable fisheries in the North-East Atlantic."

  5. #395
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    http://www.sff.co.uk/node/1009

    Scots fishermen express concern over detail of EC/Faroes herring deal

    12 June 2014

    Scottish fishermen are warning that today’s announcement (11 June) that the European Commission and the Faroes have reached a preliminary agreement to end their dispute over quota shares of herring must ensure that the Faroese are not rewarded for their unsustainable fishing practices.

    The Faroese withdrew from an international management agreement for herring in 2013 and set themselves a vastly inflated unilateral quota. As a result of this action, the EU imposed trade sanctions against the Faroes. Last year, the Faroese were entitled to 32,000 tonnes – yet caught nearly four times that amount with a figure of 115,000 tonnes.

    But now following lengthy talks, it is reported that the Faroese have agreed to end their unsustainable fishing practices whilst the EC would submit a draft regulation repealing their sanction measures.

    Commenting on the situation, Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “At the moment we don’t know the detail of this deal but we must remember that the sanctions were put in place to deter unsustainable fishing practices.

    “It is clear that these sanctions are having an effect as the Faroese are contesting the move in the international courts. This year the scientific advice states that 419,000 tonnes can be caught amongst all the coastal states, which would give the Faroes a share of 21,500 tonnes. If the Faroese set themselves a quota higher than this, then the clearly the EC will have made a huge mistake in removing its sanctions lever. If this does happen, then we will be strongly pressing the Scottish and UK Governments not to support this proposal.

    “The other major question is whether the other coastal states participating in the fishery – Norway, Iceland and Russia – have been party to or consulted on this proposal. If not, then this could potentially destabilise the co-operation and strong working relationship developed in the management of this valuable stock.”
    Date:

  6. #396
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/46-latest-...ns-sought.html

    Further sanctions sought

    THE announcement that the Faroes have set themselves a quota of 40,000 tonnes of Atlanto-Scandian herring, has caused Scottish and other EU fishermen to denounce 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. The UK has a very small 8,000 tonnes allocation, so are the EU also now proposing we are allocated an additional 8,000 tonnes?

    "The Faroe Islands will now go to the negotiations at the end of this year with an expectation of increasing its herring share from 5 to 10% of the total allowable catch for 2015. We also wonder what the status is of herring and mackerel caught by Faroese vessels last year while the sanctions were in place and which are now lying in cold stores in the Faroe Islands? Will they too become exempt from the sanctions?

    "We also know that the Norwegians are not pleased that the EC, once again, has taken unilateral steps to resolve unsustainable fishing practices without involving other states involved in the fishery. We urge both the Scottish and UK Governments to oppose with the strongest vigour this EC proposal to lift sanctions against the Faroese."

    Gerard van Balsfoort, chairman of the Northern Pelagic Working Group, 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 by European Commissioner Maria Damanaki as a sustainable fishing practice. It really drives a coach and horse through the concept of sustainable fisheries management. EU Member States share a modest 27,000 tonnes allocation, so is the Commission also now proposing that our quota is doubled to 54,000 tonnes?"

    Van Balsfoort observes that the trade sanctions have been in place since September 2013. However, since the fishing traditionally peaks before September, the effect so far has been minimal.

    "The sanctions are now lifted just before the fishing season starts, and just before they would have any real effect on the Faroese exports. On top of this we are concerned that the Commission has brokered a deal where herring and mackerel caught by Faroese vessels last year while the sanctions were in place and which are now lying in cold stores in the Faroe Islands can freely be exported to the EU. That would truly be an absurd situation, not least for the EU consumers," added van Balsfoort.

  7. #397
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    Faroes defend herring quota

    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...ing_quota.html



    THE Faroese Prime Minister, Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, has defended the EU decision to lift trade sanctions against his country, a move heavily criticised earlier this month by sections of the Scottish fishing industry.

    The Faroe Islands have also given themselves a 2014 herring quota of 40,000 tons, which while lower than last year’s catch, is still double the figure they should be allocated under the previous Coastal States agreement.

    Commenting on the situation, Jonhannnesen said: ‘The EU trade measures were inconsistent with international law.

    ‘The importance of the availability of recourse to compulsory dispute settlement mechanisms for actually resolving the dispute is for a small country as the Faroe Islands of particular value in order to safeguard its rights under the rule of law, where required.

    ‘In any event, I am pleased that we are now ready to leave this dispute behind us.

    ‘The Faroe Islands and the EU are partners in many important areas, and I am confident that we can now use this opportunity to start afresh with a new focus on improving our trade relations and enhancing cooperation in many other areas as well.’

    Faroese Fisheries Minister, Jacob Vestergaard, underlined that the catch limit for 2014 was without prejudice to the forthcoming negotiations between the five coastal states to the Atlanto-Scandian herring on a joint management of the stock, in which the Faroe Islands have a legitimate claim for a considerably larger share.

    But two weeks ago Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, was more sceptical, saying: ‘It seems that 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.’

  8. #398
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    MSP raises concerns over Faroese herring quota

    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...ing_quota.html



    JAMIE McGrigor, Highlands & Islands MSP and the Scottish Conservative Fisheries Spokesman, today in the Scottish Parliament highlighted Scottish pelagic fishermen’s concerns over the European Commission’s (EC) proposal to remove sanctions from the Faroese imposed due to its overfishing of herring.

    McGrigor questioned the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Fisheries, Richard Lochhead MSP, on the subject at today’s Question Time in Parliament.

    Earlier this month the EC 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 their setting of a unilateral quota of around four times their traditional share (105,000 tonnes).

    This year 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 based on scientific advice.

    Jamie also raised the concerns of pelagic fishermen about the impending discard ban, which will see restrictions placed on Scottish pelagic fishermen but not those from the Faroese and Norwegians fishing alongside them.

    The Cabinet Secretary said that he believed the EC’s plan was ‘premature’ and could be viewed as ‘rewarding poor behaviour.’

    Commenting afterwards Jamie said: ‘I share the frustration of Scottish pelagic fishermen that the EC- apparently with no consultation with member states- is planning to remove trade sanctions despite the fact that the Faroes are still fishing for herring outwith any international agreement and in an unsustainable way.

    ‘This sends out completely the wrong message and is unfair to Scotland’s fishermen and I urge the EC to rethink its position.

    ‘In terms of the impact of the discard ban due to come in force from next year, pelagic skippers are really concerned they are going to end up with a huge amount of control and monitoring equipment onboard while the Norwegians and Faroese merrily fishing alongside them off Shetland will not be bound by anything.

    ‘The Scottish Government needs to work hard with all stakeholders to ensure there is a level playing field for our fishermen.’

  9. #399
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    Scots fishermen call for EU member states to oppose lifting of sanctions against the Faroes

    http://sff.co.uk/node/1104

    30th July 2014

    With EU member states set to decide tomorrow (31 July) on whether to support the European Commission proposal to lift trade sanctions against the Faroes for their overfishing of Atlanto-Scandian herring, Scottish fishermen are calling on the UK and other national governments to oppose any easing of the measures.

    The EC had previously implemented trade sanctions in response to the unsustainable fishing practices of the Faroese for herring, which resulted in their setting of a unilateral quota (105,000 tonnes) of over three times the share they should have fished in 2013 (31,940 tonnes). But now the EC wants to lift sanctions following their reaching an agreement with the Faroes.

    According to Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, while this has resulted in lower quota level of herring for 2014 for the Faroes at 40,000 tonnes, it is still almost double the figure they should have been allocated this year (21,594 tonnes) under the Coastal States agreement.

    ““It is a travesty of justice if you are seen as the guilty party when you take more than three times your allocated quota share, but it is deemed okay if you just take double. It makes a mockery of the whole ethos of sustainable fishing and the efforts of other countries which adhere to the international management plan. We therefore urge both the UK and other member state governments to oppose with real vigour the lifting of this ban. A vote in favour is essentially a vote in support of unsustainable fishing.”

  10. #400
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    http://news.stv.tv/north/284638-eu-m...faroe-islands/

    EU members vote to lift fishing sanctions against Faroe Islands

    EU member states have voted to lift trade sanctions against the Faroe Islands.

    The European Commission previously implemented trade sanctions in response to Faroese herring fishing practices.

    An agreement has been reached between the EU and the Faroes - but Scottish fishing leaders insist Faroese fishermen are still being allowed to catch too much.

    Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen's Association, said: “It makes a mockery of the whole ethos of sustainable fishing and the efforts of other countries which adhere to the international management plan.

    "A vote in favour is essentially a vote in support of unsustainable fishing."

    This is just rewarding illegal fishing and should never have been allowed to happen, long past time for the UK & Ireland to leave the EU to preserve whats left of our fishing fleets, Davie

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