Scottish anger as mackerel quota set to be cut

October 1, 2012, 7:41 am

The Scottish mackerel quota is likely to be cut by 15% next year as scientists confirm that continued overfishing has already damaged the stock in the Northeast Atlantic, reports Shetland News.

As coastal states prepare for the next round of talks, due to commence in October, the latest advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) is already casting its shadow over the Scottish pelagic industry.

Scottish fishing minister Richard Lochhead said that “the irresponsible overfishing by Iceland and the Faroes” is now putting the viability of the Scottish fleet at risk.

For the last three years the EU, Norway and the two Scandinavian island states have failed to reach agreement over quota shares in the jointly fished mackerel stocks.

The Faroes has been bumping up its quota by five times its 2009 share to 148,375 metric tons in 2012, while Iceland increased its share to 45,000 metric tons, both arguing the fish had changed its behavior and now feeds for longer periods in its territorial waters.

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