Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

E.U. to Ban Fish Imports after Faroes Alter Quota ; Island Territory Disputes Accord amid Abundance of Herring and Mackerel

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

E.U. to Ban Fish Imports after Faroes Alter Quota ; Island Territory Disputes Accord amid Abundance of Herring and Mackerel

Article excerpt

The European Commission said it would enact trade sanctions against the North Atlantic territory in a growing dispute over fishing quotas.

The European Commission said on Tuesday that it was enacting tough trade sanctions against the Faroe Islands after the tiny North Atlantic territory unilaterally increased its herring quota, and signaled that it was preparing similar measures against Iceland in another fisheries dispute.

The European fisheries commissioner, Maria Damanaki, said in a statement that E.U. officials were invoking their trade powers to ban the import of herring and mackerel caught in waters under Faroese control, as well as products made from those fish. In addition, Faroese vessels will be prohibited from unloading their herring and mackerel catches at E.U. ports.

"The Faroese could have put a stop to their unsustainable fishing but decided not to do so," Ms. Damanaki said. "It is now clear to all that the E.U. is determined to use all the tools at its disposal to protect the long-term sustainability of stocks."

The Faroese prime minister, Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, denounced the Union's move as "deeply disappointing" and said his government was seeking U.N. arbitration of the issue.

The total size of the Atlantic-Scandinavian herring catch is set according to the advice of scientists to ensure the stock's sustainability. The existing agreement, which had held since 2007, was set by the Coastal States: the European Union, Russia, Norway, Iceland and the Faroes. The agreement gives Norway the largest quota, at over 60 percent; Iceland has 14.5 percent; Russia, 12 percent; and the European Union, 6.5 percent.

But the Faroese have long claimed that their quota -- at just over 5 percent -- is too low, especially considering that the fish are abundant in their fishing grounds and relatively scarce in E.U. waters. With the other Coastal States unwilling to change their quotas, the Faroes in January said they were unilaterally tripling the size of their quota. Conservationists worry that the dispute will lead to a free-for-all on the seas and endanger the fish stock.

The E.U. sanctions are aimed specifically at herring but also encompass mackerel because the two species school together. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.