SCOTS DISAPPOINTED AT SCALE OF PELAGIC ACCESS GIVEN TO FAROES
Scots disappointed at scale of pelagic access given to Faroes. The Scottish Government has expressed disappointment at level of access into Scottish waters given to the Faroese for key pelagic stocks.
Commenting on the outcome of the EU-Faroes fisheries negotiations, Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “I know that many within Scotland’s fishing industry share my disappointment at the outcome of the EU-Faroes bilateral negotiations. While I am broadly content with the benefits to Scotland’s whitefish fleet in terms of quota exchanges, I have major concerns regarding the level of access for Faroese vessels for key pelagic stocks.
“The decision to rollover current arrangements on mackerel, rather than bring that back to the negotiating table is particularly concerning, and goes against commitments previously made by the Commission. I know that Commissioner Vella shares my belief in the need for transparent and open negotiations, so I will seek to discuss with him how we move on from these negotiations to achieve that.
“Going into next week’s crucial December Council meeting in Brussels, it’s absolutely vital that the UK delegation leave with the strongest possible hand, and with the interests of Scotland’s fishing sectors at heart.”
Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “The deal with Faroe has some positive elements, principally giving a small number of Scottish whitefish boats access to Faroese quota.
“But on the pelagic side the Faroese have been given an inch and taken a mile, even over-shooting their permitted quota. This deal is having a real negative impact on the pelagic processing sector. As Faroe can catch high quality mackerel from our waters they can now access our hard fought for markets.
“This shows there is a fundamental imbalance in this fisheries arrangement which needs to be changed now.”
Simon Collins, executive officer of the Shetland Fishermen’s Association, said: “It cannot be beyond the wit of EU negotiators to obtain a fairer deal on mackerel fisheries without endangering EU access to Faroese waters for other stocks.
“Current access arrangements are so skewed in favour of Faroe that it is hard to imagine how the EU got to this situation in the first place.”