LUXEMBOURG, June 29 (UPI) -- One of Scotland's most valuable resources is threatened because the European Union isn't acting fast enough on controlling mackerel stocks, a minister said.
Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead met with European officials to press for action on regional mackerel quotas.
Lochhead during a fishery council meeting in Luxembourg proposed a plan to hold a ministerial summit on mackerel, an international tribunal for the law of the seas and possible sanctions against countries setting independent quotas.
"While the EU is navel gazing and caught up in process, Scotland's most valuable catch is being plundered recklessly and without rebuke by the Faroe Islands and Iceland," he said in a statement.
Edinburgh is upset that the Faroe Islands and Iceland set unilateral catch quotas for 2011 that are in excess of previous years.
Lochhead said he received assurances on mackerel that were helpful but not fast enough as the mackerel fishing season gets under way. European Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said she would consider trade sanctions against Iceland and the Faroes in October.
Mackerel brought in nearly $174 million for Scotland last year, making it the most valuable fishery stocks for the country.