By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Coveney Secures Agreement to Prepare for Trade Restrictions Against Iceland and Faroes as Iceland and Faroe Islands Continue Large Scale Irresponsible Fishing of Mackerel

Minister Simon Coveney T.D., supported by the UK, France and Spain today at the Council of Ministers today pushed strongly to have trade restrictions imposed immediately by the EU Commission against Iceland and the Faroe Islands as a result of their continued unacceptable and irresponsible fishing of mackerel. Both Iceland and the Faroese have set large unilateral quotas at unsustainable levels in 2013. Their unilateral quotas amount to 52% of the recommended scientifically advised catch of mackerel in 2013. This is the fifth year in which Iceland has refused to engage in meaningful negotiations with the EU and Norway, the recognised major shareholders in this fishery. Both Iceland and the Faroes have developed a large and unsustainable fishery of mackerel from a situation in 2006 when they had a combined total share of only 5% of the fishery.

Minister Coveney said “I called for and secured the agreement of Commissioner Damanaki that the EU will immediately prepare for trade restrictions against Iceland and the Faroe Islands. I received strong support from many Member States including the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands. Both Iceland and the Faroes have repeatedly refused to engage in any meaningful negotiations with the EU and Norway over the past 5 years. This is simply unacceptable as they are now fishing over 50% of the scientifically recommended catch level for mackerel. I am pleased that the Commissioner and most Member States supported moving quickly during this fishing season to take strong and decisive measures. We have been left with no choice and must act against these countries being rewarded by their unsustainable and irresponsible behaviour. I regret that we have been forced to take this action but the continued absence of any meaningful attempt to negotiate by either country has left us with no alternative.”

The North East Atlantic mackerel fishery, if fished within recommended levels, is worth about €1 billion with a value to the European Union, as the largest shareholder, estimated to be over €600 million. Minister Coveney added “mackerel is our most important fishery worth over €125m to us and Irish fishermen are hugely dependant on it and cannot accept their livelihoods being threatened in this way. If this irresponsible fishing is allowed to continue this stock will be decimated and our fishermen and coastal communities will have their livelihoods completely undermined.   There are many fish processing factories in Donegal and also factories in Galway, Kerry and Cork dependent on this stock. I am compelled to do all I can to protect this Irish industry and all the jobs it provides. I have been calling consistently for the implementation of trade measures for more than 12 months and today the Commissioner has agreed to proceed to implement these measures.” 

Date Released: 16 July 2013