Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Sanctions or no sanctions?

EUObserver reports that according to Maria Damanaki, the Fisheries Commissar Commissioner, the EU will decide by the end of July whether to impose sanctions on Iceland and the Faroe Islands over the mackerel dispute. Sanctions could include a ban on Icelandic and Faroese fishermen landing catches in EU ports and could even go as far as a complete ban on mackerel and mackerel produce from those sources.

Reuters has a more detailed piece, which reminds the readers of several matters. One is that Iceland is claiming that their mackerel quota was increased because there was a significant rise in the mackerel stocks, a claim that is not apparently being disputed, as the EU's arguments tend to concentrate on the shocking idea that a country wishes to decide its own fishing quotas on the basis of its own scientific advice.

Secondly, the EU is feeling sore: Iceland does not want to come in and is making no bones about the fact that the whole mess of the Common Fisheries Policy is an important reason for that reluctance. Such insolence! Up with this we shall not put.

Any proposal put forward at the end of this month will have to be agreed by the 28 governments (yes, that's right, Croatia is in now but is hardly a substitute for Iceland) so the whole process will take a little while. Of course, if the UK had her own fishing policy we might be able to negotiate with Iceland to our mutual benefit after ascertaining what the truth is about that "surge in stocks". As it is, we had better prepare ourselves for a mackerel and herring war.


Post a Comment