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Herring war sanctions

Faroese prime minister Kaj Leo Johannessen.

EU TRADE sanctions to prevent the Faroe Islands from setting their own quota for Atlanto-Scandian herring will come into force next week.

As of next Wednesday, Faroese herring and mackerel fishing boats will be banned from calling at EU ports.

Additionally, any Atlanto-Scandian herring or fishery product from the stocks cannot be sold into the EU.

The Faroe Islands condemned the development and said the measures were contravening international law.

The move follows Faroe’s decision to break away from the negotiations on the jointly managed stock in 2013 and unilaterally increase its share threefold to 105,000 tonnes.

European fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki said on Tuesday the EU had exhausted all other means to resolve the conflict.

“The imposition of such measures is always done as a very last resort.

“The Faroese could have put a stop to their unsustainable fishing but decided not to do so,” the commissioner said.

“It is now clear to all that the EU is determined to use all the tools at its disposal to protect the long-term sustainability of stocks.”

She added that the commission would now also be taking initial steps towards trade sanctions in the similar dispute with Iceland and Faroe over the North-East Atlantic mackerel stock.

Reacting to the EU’s announcement, the Faroese prime minister Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen said Europe was ignoring its international obligations.

“The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea foresees dispute settlement mechanisms which are available for the EU with regard to exactly such disputes.

“It is therefore deeply disappointing to learn that the EU has decided to pursue the adoption of the coercive economic measures. 

“The EU has the audacity to claim, in its own press statement today, that it has ‘exhausted all other means’ to find a negotiated solution. This is quite clearly not the case, and many EU member states have also acknowledged this situation.”