SCOTTISH fisheries protection vessels are being sent into the Atlantic Ocean to make sure Faroese fishermen do not try to catch mackerel in UK waters.
As the battle over the mackerel stock intensifies, Scottish fisheries minister Richard Lochhead told fishermen that monitoring the line between Faroese and Scottish waters was a top priority.
Faroe has courted international trade sanctions by massively increasing its quota for mackerel over the past two years from around 30,000 tonnes to 150,000 tonnes without agreement from the European Union or Norway.
Speaking during a meeting with the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, Mr Lochhead said there was an urgent need for the EU to apply trade sanctions “without delay” now that the mackerel fishing season was commencing.
“I urge the Commission to act swiftly on this. This needs to happen alongside continuation of talks to put in place a new international agreement for the mackerel stock,” the minister said.
“In the meantime, monitoring the line between Scottish and Faroese waters is vital to safeguard our mackerel stocks, and this has been a key focus of my talks today with the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association.
“In the absence of an access agreement, the Faroese pelagic fleet cannot fish in EU waters and it is important that we do not allow them to plunder our waters as part of their outrageous mackerel grab.”
Mackerel is the most valuable species for the Scottish fishing fleet, which catches about 140,000 tonnes that is worth around £135 million. The Shetland pelagic fleet has a quota to catch around 40,000 tonnes this year.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 380 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News