EU/Faroe fish deal
Fisheries Secretary content that important whitefish opportunities are maintained.
Against a backdrop of challenging catch advice, the conclusion of this year’s EU/Faroe negotiations have resulted in an effective rollover of fishing opportunities for the Scottish fleet. These are important additional quotas with an estimated potential value to the industry of £1.8 million
Negotiations were further complicated by Faroes refusal to notify their intended quotas for Blue Whiting and Atlanto Scandian Herring of which reciprocal access to each other’s waters plays a part in these negotiations. The current deal therefore restricts access, which will be a real term reduction with the possibility to look again at the issue once the Faroese have notified their intended quota levels, expected to be in January 2017.
Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said
“At previous negotiations there were “unacceptable restrictions” placed on all concerned by European Commission negotiators who claimed that in 2014 the level of access to mackerel for the Faroes was fixed at 30 per cent for the full five-year agreement.
“This was not made clear to EU delegations at the time and was not recorded anywhere. The Scottish Government position was that access must always be open to annual review and this level in itself was too high. Whilst the access for Mackerel has stayed at 30% it is at least a step forward that it was part of the negotiation and not simply a fixed feature as had been previously suggested.”