The trade measures against the Faroe Islands, which were adopted last week by the European Commission, are entering into force on Wednesday 28th August. These measures include the prohibition of imports of Atlanto-Scandian Herring and the associated species of mackerel into the European Union, as well as the prohibition of use of European Union ports by Faroese vessels that fish for these species and by other vessels transporting fish and fishery products stemming from herring or mackerel that have been caught under the control of the Faroe Islands.
The Commission has adopted today a package of measures to address the continued unsustainable fishing of herring by the Faroe Islands. The measures include the ban of imports of, and restrictions on the use of EU ports by vessels fishing for, herring and the associated species of mackerel from the Atlanto-Scandian stocks, caught under the control of the Faroe Islands.
European Commissioner for Maritime and Fisheries Affairs, Maria Damanaki stated: "The imposition of such measures is always done as a very last resort. The Faroese could have put a stop to their unsustainable fishing but decided not to do so. It is now clear to all that the EU is determined to use all the tools at its disposal to protect the long-term sustainability of stocks."
Norway, Russia, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the EU managed until 2013 the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock through an agreed long-term management plan and through pre-established shares of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC). However, in 2013 the Faroe Islands unilaterally decided to break out of this agreement and established an autonomous quota which more than trebled their previously agreed share, thereby jeopardising the sustainability of the stock.
The European Commission announced today its yearly deductions from 2013 fishing quotas. These measures concern Member states that exceeded their quotas in 2012. By doing so every year, the Commission immediately addresses the damage done to the stocks overfished in the previous year and ensures a sustainable use by Member States of common fishery resources.
Commissioner Damanaki commented: "As we now work towards the implementation of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, our priority is to ensure that the rules are rigorously and fairly enforced for all. I note the reduction in the total amount of overfishing as compared to last year and aim at ensuring a longer term trend in this respect. This will form part of our continued focus on enforcing control provisions, which is crucial to stopping overfishing and achieving the long-term sustainability of our stocks."
Commissioner Damanaki met on Monday in Athens with Greek Minister for Shipping and the Aegean, Mr Varvitsiotis.
This meeting has been the occasion to discuss Integrated Maritime Policy priorities, including for the upcoming Greek Presidency.