Statement on todays mackerel quota dispute meeting Published: 13 September, 2010
Following todays meeting of Scottish mackerel fishermen in Fraserburgh to discuss the ongoing quota dispute with Iceland and the Faroes, which was organised by the Scottish Pelagic Fishermens Association (SPFA) and the Scottish Fishermens Federation SFF, Ian Gatt, chief executive of the SPFA, said:
We are encouraged that the meeting between the European Commission and the Faroes at the end of last week seemed to be productive. These initial encouraging signs now need to be turned into positive action by agreeing a sensible outcome during the October negotiation meeting. The Faroese have informed the EC that they have caught their 85,000 tonnes quota. What we must not do is reward the reckless, irresponsible behaviour of Iceland and the Faroes.
In the meantime Scottish fishermen will continue to protest against any Faroese pelagic landings into Scotland until there has been a successful conclusion to the mackerel dispute.
A key Governmental policy is the protection of our fishing communities. Fishing communities are made up of many industries including boat building and repair, and many other support sectors. A strong processing sector is also paramount to help add value and deliver the catch to market.
All these important sectors can only function if there are healthy stocks of fish and an entitlement to sustainably catch these fish. It is Scotlands fisheries entitlement for mackerel that is under threat and this is why we will leave no stone unturned in our battle to ensure a fair deal is achieved.