This confirms the Commission's view that a possible re-allocation of the coastal states' respective shares in that fishery can only be negotiated and decided on the basis of sound and thorough science and in the knowledge of all the pertinent facts. Changes can be considered once those facts have been explored and discussed in a joint and transparent process.
In view of this development, the Commission regrets all the more that the Faroe Islands, already at the beginning of the current fishing season, have taken the unilateral step to abandon the coastal state arrangement and increase more than three-fold their catches of Atlanto-Scandian herring. This unilateral increase of the Faroese quota is in contradiction to the now accepted need for scientific exploration and fact-based decision-making. The unilateral move has led to overfishing and further damages an already declining fish stock.
The Commission continues to stand ready to discuss constructive solutions in the current situation. The Commission regrets that the Faroe Islands have not used this occasion to suspend their unilateral quota increase, pending the completion of the working group's deliberations.