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EU action on mackerel 'imminent'

March 23, 2011 at 9:21 AM
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EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 23 (UPI) -- Concrete proposals on the sustainability of mackerel stock from the European Union are "imminent," the Scottish fisheries secretary announced.

Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead spoke with his EU counterpart Maria Damanaki to highlight Edinburgh's concern about the sustainability of mackerel stocks.

"The commissioner agreed that the current situation is unacceptable and tough action is needed," he said in a statement. "She assured me that concrete proposals from the EU are imminent and that an announcement is expected in the coming days."

Scotland has expressed repeated frustration over a decision by Iceland and the autonomous Faroe Islands to set unilateral quotas for mackerel. Edinburgh generated about $163 million last year from mackerel catches.

The Faroe Islands set a 2011 catch quota that is 75 percent greater than 2010 levels. Iceland set a total allowable catch limit for 2011 at nearly 150,000 tons, which Edinburgh describes as a "bumper catch."

"The time for talking is at an end, as Iceland and the Faroes have demonstrated they have no genuine interest in seeking international agreement," added Lochhead.

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