Faroese Premier hits back at "offensive" attacks on his country over mackerel – Fishupdate.com

Faroese Premier hits back at “offensive” attacks on his country over mackerel Published:  21 May, 2012

THE Faroese Prime Minister has accused some people of describing his country in an offensive manner over the controversial mackerel issue.

Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen was speaking at a recent diplomatic reception hosted by  the  Mission for the Faroes in Brussels when he said: “Some people have advised me not the mention the “M-word” . “But I cannot be in Brussels and not mention mackerel. I want to make it very clear that the Faroese Government takes its international responsibilities for the joint management of shared fish stocks very seriously. “Despite the offensive way the Faroe Islands have been described in some EU contexts, this has not affected my confidence that we can find a common solution to the long-term management of mackerel – a solution that respects the interests of all parties and recognises the new realities of the fisheries. We have had trouble reaching agreement on other fisheries issues before.” The Premier added: ” But we are close neighbours with a long history of co-operation, and we always manage to get there in the end. The mackerel issue should be no exception. Before his comments on the mackerel dispute he declared: ” I know that the EU is giving high priority to developing forward-looking strategic policies on the North Atlantic and the Arctic. I believe there is great potential for a much closer collaboration between the Faroe Islands and the EU in a wide range of areas related to economic development in our particular area of the North Atlantic and Arctic.” Mr Johannesen said the  Faroe Islands, which has a population of just 50,000,  had chosen not to be a part of Denmark’s membership of the European Union. “Our relationship with the EU as a third country is based on three separate agreements, on free trade, fisheries and as an associated country to the Seventh Framework Programme on Research.”