MACKEREL SANCTION PLANS Published:  26 April, 2012

Maria Damanaki

Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki has confirmed she plans to have sanctions available against nations fishing unsustainably as soon as possible.

The development follows the European Parliament Fisheries Committee’s vote in favour of sanctions against Faroes and Iceland.

Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “I have long been calling for decisive action by the Commission against the irresponsible and ongoing overfishing of the valuable mackerel stock by Iceland and Faroes. Therefore I welcome that the EP Fisheries Committee has supported the need for sanctions.

“I met with Commissioner Damanaki today [Wednesday April 25] at the Euro Seafood Expo in Brussels and impressed upon her the importance of mackerel to Scotland. She visited Scottish exhibitors – including two pelagic companies who employ more than 1,500 people – demonstrating the importance of mackerel  to Scottish fishing communities  and the wider Scottish economy.

“The Commissioner assured me that she is determined to see workable and effective sanctions in place in time to influence the mackerel negotiations for 2013, set to take place later this year.

“We cannot allow this shocking situation to continue for another fishing season and we’re determined to work closely with the Commission and the European Parliament to resolve this matter.”