EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 16 (UPI) -- A unilateral decision by the Faroe Islands to increase mackerel quota for 2011 by 75 percent is "outrageous," the Scottish government said.
Scottish officials are incensed over decisions by Iceland and the Faroe Islands to set their own quotas for mackerel catches. Iceland and the Faroes walked away from the seventh round of sustainability talks with Europe last week.
The Faroes Island set a 2011 quota at slightly more than 150,000 tons, a 75 percent increase from last year and five times more than they would get under the last international agreement in 2009.
"This is nothing short of an outrageous mackerel grab by the Faroes, who are determined to seek short-term profit, at the expense of the sustainability of the stock, rather than come to a reasonable agreement with the other nations who share the mackerel fishery," Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said in a statement.
Iceland set its catch limit at around 147,000 tons for 2011, up from 120,000 tons in 2009.
Lochhead said it was time the European Union impose "meaningful sanctions" on both governments from their "flagrant disregard" for sustainable fishing practices.
Mackerel fishing generated about $216 million for Scotland in 2009.