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Scotland expecting action on fishing

Sept. 9, 2011 at 7:28 AM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Scotland wants tougher action in the European community to protect its $174 million mackerel industry, the country's fisheries secretary said.

The Scottish government said it was expecting the European Commission to introduce sanctions against the Faroe Islands and Iceland for overfishing mackerel in the region. Edinburgh said they are both taking on more mackerel than their internationally agreed upon share.

"We cannot afford to let this situation continue any longer and countries must not be allowed to ignore their international obligations," said Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead.

Scotland last year brought in $174 million from mackerel.

The European Union is working to address its own common fisheries policy aimed at rebuilding its fisheries industry. Maria Damanaki, European commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said in July that action was needed to return European fish stocks to a healthy state.

Europe and the United States signed an agreement this week in Washington aimed at combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

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