Industry puts forward mackerel compromise

The mackerel fishing industry is worth £130 million to the Scottish economy - Photo: ShetNews

THE EU pelagic fishing industry has put forward its own compromise deal to find a long-term solution to the stand-off with Iceland and Faroe over mackerel fishing rights.

Representatives from the Northern Pelagic Working Group met with EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki in Brussels on Monday night.

The industry leaders said they acknowledged that the expanding mackerel stock was now dependent on a wider feeding area, but not to an extent that justified catching 334,000 tonnes as the two island states did in 2013.


The group’s chairman, Gerard van Balsfoort, said: “Our solution, which we put forward to commissioner Damanaki, covered a three-tiered structure where Tier One represents the existing arrangements between the coastal states.

“Tier Two recognises the expansion of the stock and the increased catches by Iceland and Faroe Islands and would allow for increased shares by these coastal states.

“When the scientific advice would be greater than the 2014 advice (which is 900,000 tonnes) a combination of the Tier One and Tier Two sharing arrangements would be put in place.”

The commissioner is said to have agreed to examining the proposal.

Talks between all coastal states to hammer out a new management agreement for northeast Atlantic mackerel are due to start on Wednesday in London.