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Mackerel talks frustrate Scotland

Oct. 26, 2012 at 7:26 AM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The Scottish government expressed frustration after it left negotiations in London without a comprehensive agreement on mackerel fishing.

Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said negotiations aimed at reaching an international mackerel fishing deal were for naught. An international agreement is needed, he said, to ensure the sustainability of the regional catch. Iceland and the Faroes Islands, he added, are frustrating the efforts because of "irresponsible quotas."

"The stubborn and unrealistic position of the Faroe Islands in particular, who continue to put forward highly excessive claims, is a concern," he said in a statement.

The European Parliament in September voted for sanctions against Iceland and the Faroe Islands on charges they were overfishing mackerel, the most valuable fishery stock for Scotland.

European lawmakers this week backed a provisional deal to retool its Common Fisheries Policy to curb overfishing in regional waters. Greenpeace criticized the deal as subsidies outlined in the reform would cover losses brought on by fishery closures that are enacted because of overfishing.

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