Mackerel over-fishing rows could affect Scotland

Annual advice from ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) states that the recommended Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for mackerel should fall 15 per cent in 2013, to 542,000 tonnes, while advising further reductions in overall catch in light of the irresponsible over-fishing by Iceland and Faroes that has pushed catch levels above the scientific advice.

Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “For four years in a row now we have seen Iceland and the Faroes plundering the mackerel stock, setting their own vastly inflated quotas outwith an international agreement – and as a result putting the future of our own fleet at risk.

“While Europe has finally brought forward sanction provisions, the process has taken far too long and this worrying scientific advice shows that much damage to the mackerel stock has already been done. Therefore it is infuriating and deeply frustrating that Scottish fishermen now face the prospect of reduced quotas.

“Talks resume next month for a new mackerel deal and I hope the Faroes and Iceland finally decide to enter in to reasonable negotiations. They must recognise that if they continue to ignore their responsibilities to sustainably manage the stock, it will ultimately lead to disaster for all those who rely on this valuable fishery.

”Scotland’s priority is to have all parties signed up to a new deal that will safeguard the future sustainability of the mackerel stock. Hopefully the prospect of sanctions will help concentrate Icelandic and Faroese minds.”

Find the full story here – http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/18328/Mackerel_over-fishing_row_could_affect_Scottish_quotas.html

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