EDINBURGH, Scotland, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Despite a $19 million grant from the European Union for its fisheries sector, the Scottish government said regional polices must be in the national interest.
Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said his country was optimistic about 2012 now that it had the $19 million grant to support its fishing fleet.
"We must take advantage of the plethora of opportunities that lie ahead of us in 2012 and maximize the benefits to Scotland in what could be a truly pivotal year for our fishing industry," he said in a statement.
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 fishermen from both countries are taking on more mackerel than their internationally agreed upon share.
The European Union is working to address a common fisheries policy aimed at rebuilding the fisheries industry.
"We must ensure we get the best deal we can for Scotland's fishermen in the common fisheries policy negotiations," said Lochhead.
Scotland said there was an 11 percent decrease in the volume of mackerel landings in 2010 compared with the previous year because of a decrease in quotas stemming from management plans for that species.