THE FAROESE fisheries chief negotiator has reiterated his country’s commitment to respect the current mackerel access arrangement between his country and the EU.
Herluf Sigvaldsson was reacting to demands from the Shetland Fishermen’s Association to suspend Faroese access to EU waters.
On Monday, the SFA put out a strongly worded statement casting doubts over the accuracy of Faroese fishing data after the trawler Jupiter was reportedly found to have 600 tonnes of mackerel mixed in with blue whiting when landing in the Danish port of Skagen, last week.
On Tuesday, Sigvaldsson responded by saying that Faroese fishermen were following the agreement by the book, and that the SFA’s comments were triggered by its “general reservation” towards the mackerel access agreement.
The agreement allows Faroese trawlers to catch up to 29 per cent of its mackerel quota in EU waters, while in return EU vessels have the right to fish the same amount in Faroese waters.
Sigvaldsson said the ministry for fishery regarded the deal as “a balanced negotiated package”.
“We are going to respect the mackerel arrangement of 2014 until it expires at the end of 2018.
“With regards to control matters, we would hereby like to assure everybody that we always deal with any control issue in accordance with the relevant provisions in force,” he said.
He confirmed that the authorities were investigating the possible breach of Faroese law by a Faroese vessel fishing in Faroese waters.
He said he could not give any further details at this stage, and added: “However, it is important to make very clear that this is an individual incident and as it concerns a vessel fishing in Faroese waters, the incident should not be seen in the context of the bilateral mackerel access arrangement between the Faroe Islands and the EU.”
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