BRUSSELS, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The Scottish government needs Iceland and the Faroes Islands to act reasonably when considering mackerel stocks, the Scottish fisheries secretary said.
Edinburgh in late September expressed outrage over decisions by the Faroe Islands and Iceland to set quotas for mackerel fishing that the Scottish government said exceeded the total allowable catch.
Iceland walked away from talks with Europe in November and a delegation from the Faroe Islands left the negotiating table last week.
European leaders in Brussels are discussing how best to apply mackerel quotas in the region.
Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said he was "extremely frustrated" by the breakdown in mackerel talks. He complained that Iceland and the Faroes Islands were setting "inflated" quotas which he said were motivated by short-term gains.
"Salt is rubbed in to the wound by the fact the Faroes have gone ahead with a back-hand deal to sell their mackerel quota to Russia," he added in a statement.
Lochhead said mackerel brought in more than $785 million in 2009 and supported 2,500 jobs in Scotland.
"The valuable mackerel stock has been sustainably managed for the past 10 years by Scottish fishermen, as well as others across the European Union and Norway," he said in his statement. "Firm action is needed or the irresponsible practices of Iceland and the Faroes may lead to the demise of the fishery."