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News :: Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture supports Commission proposal for Faroe Islands Trade Measures

Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture supports Commission proposal for Faroe Islands Trade Measures

(31/07/2013) The Commission confirms that the Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture has today provided a favourable opinion backing a proposal of the European Commission for a Regulation adopting trade measures with regard to the Faroe Islands.

Commissioner Damanaki welcomed this support, which allows the Commission to move ahead in ensuring a sustainable herring fishery managed in a joint manner by all coastal states concerned.

The Committee discussed the overfishing of Atlanto-Scandian herring by the Faroe Islands following a decision by its government earlier this year to unilaterally treble their existing quota. The Faroese decision to unilaterally increase its quota by more than three times the allocations they would have got under the existing arrangements jeopardises the long term sustainability of the stock. It also constitutes a unilateral disruption of the joint management of a crucial fishery stock.

The final decision will now come back, upon proposal of Commissioner Damanaki, to the Commission which will discuss these measures, taking into account the opinions expressed in the Committee. A decision can be expected in the course of August.

Full details of the measures will be released upon adoption by the Commission. This Regulation may comprise any of the measures listed in article 4 of EU Regulation 1026/2012, which includes; for instance, import prohibitions and prohibitions to land in EU ports.

This initiative comes after prolonged efforts by the Commission to find a suitable negotiated solution. Following the Faroese announcement on its disproportionately high quota, the European Union gave a 'warning' to the Faroese authorities in May. The Faroese government did not propose any concrete offer for resolution. Given the gravity of the situation and the lack of co-operation from the Faroese authorities, the Commission had no option but to ensure all necessary steps are taken to tackle unsustainable fishing activities.