Scotland: Iceland fishing irresponsible

Dec. 20, 2010 at 9:11 AM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Nobody is surprised that Iceland isn't listening to the European community on regional fish stock quotas, the Scottish government complained.

Richard Lochhead, the Scottish fisheries secretary, slammed a decision by the Icelandic government to unilaterally increase its catch proposals for 2011 from about 128,000 tons to around 145,000 tons.

"Given Iceland's actions in walking away from the international mackerel negotiations last month, it is sadly no great surprise that they have followed this up with these irresponsible actions in unilaterally increasing their mackerel quota for next year," he complained in a statement. "They are not adhering to scientific advice and are totally motivated by short-term gain."

Lochhead said the decision to increase unilateral quotas is something of a slap in the face to the European community, which is trying to impose best-management criteria for the fish in the region.

Edinburgh and other members of the European community have expressed frustration over that lack of consensus on fish harvests.

Iceland walked away from talks with Europe in November and a delegation from the Faroe Islands left the negotiating table in mid December.

Mackerel fishing was worth $210 million to Scotland last year.

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