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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 17 May 2013

Commission announces possible measures against the Faroe Islands over herring fisheries

The European Commission has notified the fisheries authorities of the Faroe Islands of its intention to adopt measures in support of the sustainability of herring fisheries shared with the Faroe Islands. This notification is a preliminary step which aims at giving the Faroe Islands an opportunity to be heard in advance. The measures may include restrictions in the imports of herring and associated species fished by Faroese interests and restrictions on the access of Faroese vessels in EU harbours except for safety reasons.

The stock of Atlanto-Scandian herring is fished by Norway, the Russian Federation, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the European Union with management measures commonly set up through consultation among these countries. The Faroe Islands withdrew from the consultations on the management of the stock for 2013 and announced that they would set up an autonomous quota at a level 145% higher than their 2012 quota. This was set against a context in which all other parties to the fishery had agreed to reduce their quotas by 26% for conservation reasons.

By this action, the sustainability of the stock is highly compromised and its recovery possibilities largely diminished. This Commission action aims to ensure sustainability to avoid a collapse of the stock which would mean that many fishermen and their families would lose their income. The action is based on Regulation (EU) No 1026/2012, which foresees the adoption of measures against countries that fail to cooperate with the EU in the management of stocks of common interest and adopt management measures that put fish stocks at risk.

The Faroe Islands is a self-governed territory within the Danish Realm and is not part of the European Union.

Contacts :

Oliver Drewes (+32 2 299 24 21)

Lone Mikkelsen (+32 2 296 05 67)

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