UK Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon, has today expressed his concern at the decision of the Governments of Iceland and the Faroe Islands to award arbitrary fishing quota for Mackerel.
At the end of July, The Faroe Islands set a quota for mackerel of 85,000 tonnes for this year, which is 15 per cent of the recommended global total allowable catch and far in excess of their previous four per cent share. This follows a recent decision by Iceland to declare themselves a quota of 130,000 tonnes. This level of fishing is likely to have a detrimental impact on the fishery and undermine the sustainability of the stock.
UK Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon, said:
“I’m very concerned at the actions of both Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Mackerel is one of the most sustainable fisheries due to the action that EU member states have taken in successfully managing the stocks. This is being put at risk by the setting of arbitrary quota. Mackerel fishing is of critical importance to the UK fishing industry. I do not want to see this issue cause a deterioration in the otherwise good relationships between our respective industries and I urge both Iceland and Faroe Islands to reconsider their actions.”
The UK has made its position clear to the European Commission. Richard Benyon, UK Fisheries Minister, and Richard Lochhead, Scottish Fisheries Secretary, have written to European Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki to raise their shared concerns. Both Ministers welcome the recent announcement by the Commissioner voicing the EU objections to the actions taken by Iceland and Faroe Islands.