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Commission adopts trade measures against Faroe Islands to
protect the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock
The European Commission has today adopted a package of
measures to address the continued unsustainable fishing of herring by the Faroe
The measures include the ban of imports of herring and
mackerel from the Atlanto-Scandian stocks that has been caught under the control
of the Faroe Islands as well as fishery products containing or made of such
The measures also include restrictions on the use of EU ports
by vessels fishing for the herring and mackerel stocks under the control of the
This means that some Faroese vessels will not be allowed to
dock in EU ports, except in cases of emergency.
European Commissioner for Maritime and Fisheries Affairs,
Maria Damanaki said:
"The imposition of such measures is always done as a very last
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."
The measures will come into force 7 days after publication in
the Official Journal.
The Atlanto-Scandian herring stock was until 2013 managed
jointly by Norway, Russia, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the EU through an
agreed long-term management plan and 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.
Despite the Commission's best efforts to find a negotiated
solution and the repeated warnings that measures could be adopted, the Faroese
refused to end their unsustainable fishing of the stock.
Having exhausted all other means, the Commission decided to
make use of the powers granted by the Trade Instrument in order to encourage the
Faroe Islands to contribute to the conservation of the stock.
These measures received the clear support of Member States in
the Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture on 31 July 2013.
Whilst a similar dispute exists with Iceland on the management
of the North-East Atlantic mackerel stock, the Commission has not yet adopted
measures in this respect.
However, the Commission is now taking the initial steps
towards the application of the Trade Instrument in this case as well.