Lochhead responds to Iceland announcement on self imposed mackerel quota

Iceland has announced that it is taking a unilateral and self-imposed cut of 15% on its mackerel quota for 2013.

With the UK mackerel fishery largely a Scottish fishery, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead, says: ‘It is disappointing that Iceland remains intent on taking an excessively large share of the TAC (total allowable catch), a greater share than Scotland, despite their short history in the fishery.

‘This will continue to damage our most valuable stock and an opportunity has been missed to show willingness to help bring this dispute to end.’

The European Commission noted that Iceland’s chosen 15% cut disguises the fact that its take of mackerel has been extremely high before this cut and will remain so even after it.

The EC also expressed disappointment that Iceland has chosen to go it alone and to take its decision on a quota cut independently of its partner nations – although Iceland, while integrated in the EU, is an accession state and not an EU member.

This move, following on similar action in 2012, suggests that Iceland is prepared to risk punitive delay in its adoption as a full EU member, in favour of looking after its own interests.

Iceland and the Faroes have effectively been taking what mackerel they want, despite scientific evidence that mackerel stocks are in need of the protection of agreed quotas.

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7 Responses to Lochhead responds to Iceland announcement on self imposed mackerel quota

  1. There are some misleading statements in this article.
    EU and Norway have announced there self imposed mackerel quota 90% of what is considered to be sustainable, and then blame Iceland for plundering the stock if the fish more than 10%. What kind of argument is this?

    Regarding sustainability it is good for readers to know that according to Marine Conservation Society (MCS) 80% of EU fishing stocks are over-fished. take a look for your self:http://www.mcsuk.org/
    and the EU and the British fleet are now taking there unsustainable fishing habits to Africa, and the are throwing millions of tons of eatable fish in the sea every year.
    Iceland is and has been a world leading country in sustainable fishing, one big step in this was the cod war and the preservation of the 200mile zone.

    In 2011 the total mackerel fishing was 930.000 tons, Iceland had 159.000 tons. Responsible fishing was estimated to be 643.000 tons. In 2010 23% of the mackerel was inside the Icelandic fishing zone, and in 2011 it went up to 42,5%. in the Icelandic zone. (ICES, 2011: Cruise report, 2011). The mackerel has moved from EU and Norway to Iceland because of (global warming) higher temperature in the sea around Iceland, from almost no mackerel at all to 23% of the stock in 2010 to 42,5% in 2011, EU and Norway are not respecting this fact in the negotiation. Iceland did recommend 30% cut of all mackerel fishing to keep the fishing sustainable according to scientific recommendations. EU and Norway did say NO to this responsible offer. (Bergen. Jan 2012) Result: EU is still over-fishing.

    How can EU, UK and Norway say it doesn’t matter that 42,5% of the stock has move to Iceland?

    How can EU, UK and Norway say that we are not willing to make an agreement when those same country’s deny 30% cut of all fishing.

    Best regards Jón Fr. Iceland

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • This is a complex issue and this is a useful contribution to the debate.
      The EU management of fisheries is not respected and the Common Fisheries Policy remains essentially unreformed.

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      • Don’t you mean the “EU Mis-Management of fisheries”. I am only slightly shocked at Jon’s revelation that most of the mackeral have left our waters for Iceland, but our Fisheries Secretary is ignoring or unaware of the fact.
        Iceland should be proud of their record of sustainable fishing. It has made them a lot of enemies in the UK especially, but when you look at the quality of their fish as against that fished in our water, one can only be thankful that at least one country has made their industry produce a product that is impossible to better.

        If Iceland had allowed the rape of their grounds by our trawlers we would have forgotten what quality fish tasted like by now.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        • Pathway from Peterhead reported a mark of Makerel 30 miles NW of the Butt of Lewis as 14 miles long x 2 miles wide x 80 Fathoms deep (480 feet) travelling South within Scotland’s territorial waters,Jon is Iceland’s answer to Lord Haw Haw and is better to get his facts correct and verified

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  2. Lets set up the scenario that neighbour of yours had 10 cows. He puts 4 of them in your garden, with out asking you and you have no means of chasing them out. Whould you be OK with getting one pint of milk in return or compensation for the cows eating everything in your garden and leaving it full of s**t.
    I certanly would not, infact I probably wouls keep all the milk from those cows eating my garden.
    This is just another view of the same problem, the mackril is eating up the icelandic sea’s feeding 1.5 million tons of mackril comes with an price, we have no means to chase the macril off to other feedin grounds.

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  3. all valid points though its turning into a blame game when the facts are..the common fisheries policy is not fit for purpose and all fleets are responsible for over fishing, the days of fish being seen as cheap food need to be over, outwith protected areas which there needs to be more off, fish are getting smaller and less fish are not completing their life cycle, we need more substantial areas free from all trawling and particularly dredging – do this and fisheries can recover in part – dont do this and its a matter of time before multiple fishery collapse

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  4. I am afraid that it boils down to a simpler issue as northward migration of the stock,as Abba sung money money money.
    Iceland and Faroes were not interested in the Makeral Stock when prices were averaging £100.00 per tonne but soon changed their stance and dollar signs flashed before their eyes when markets started to average £800.00 to £1,000.00 per tonne.
    One has only to note that Iceland was bankrupt when they decided to increase their preceived share of the Makeral Stock, of course nothing to do with money money money, Faroe can not even catch their share so employ sub-contractors like Russia and even Far East Fishing Companies to catch their self allocated share of the quota and regularly get consignments of processed makeral returned from Nigeria as unfit for human consumption

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