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EU/Faroe fish deal

Fisheries Secretary declares deal places “unacceptable restrictions” on all concerned.

This year’s EU/Faroe fishing negotiations has placed “unacceptable restrictions” on all concerned and the future level of Faroese access to EU waters to fish for mackerel must be open to review, Richard Lochhead said yesterday.

Negotiators have claimed that in 2014 the level of access to mackerel for the Faroes was fixed at 30 per cent for the full five-year duration of the agreement. This was not made clear to EU delegations at the time and was not recorded anywhere.

As a result, mackerel access between the EU and Faroe has been taken off the negotiating table until 2019.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead said:

“These unacceptable restrictions mean we are in a position where the level of access to mackerel between the EU and Faroe is effectively off the table for another three years. We cannot accept a situation that does not allow us to review and adjust aspects of the package as a result of unwritten closed door deals that we were not aware of.

“This practice is not acceptable and is a breach of faith by the EU Commission – going forward we must have guarantees that everything is open for discussion, unless transparently agreed otherwise by all parties, so we can evaluate the entire package. I will be raising this issue with the Commission at December Council next week and asking the UK Government to support our request that all aspects of the EU/Faroe package can be properly reviewed at next year’s negotiations.”


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