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Tension escalates over EU sanctions

Click on the flag for more information about Faroe Islands FAROE ISLANDS
Tuesday, September 03, 2013, 01:20 (GMT + 9)

The recent enforcement of the commercial sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) on the Faroe Islands due to the increased fishing quota, which trebled its previous allocation, is generating strong tensions.

The Faroe Islands authorities are not happy with the measures because they would rather have a negotiated settlement and has asked -- and obtained -- a new opportunity to argue its case, with two-day talks being held in London.

The Faroese government is blaming it all on the herring migratory habits which, they argue, have changed bringing more fish into its waters.

In July, the country's PM, Kay Leo Holm Johannesen, complained the EU was taking these measures in order to protect its own interests.

''It is short-sighted and ill-considered of the EU to take such an unjustifiable step against one of its nearest European neighbours and partners,'' Johannesen, who has a business background in fish exports, remarked.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, Chief Executive of Peterhead Port Authority, John Wallace, expressed his support for the EU sanctions, calling them "robustly and through," reports the BBC.

Wallace told the Herald Scotland that: "These sanctions have been a long time in coming into effect but have not been knee-jerk and are robustly thought through. At the end of the day, this has come down to a behavioural problem and the EU must now do all it can to ensure that Faroe and Iceland's actions are proportionately dealt with, before normal service and relations can be resumed."

Scotland and other European countries complain that while they had to reduce their fishing quotas due to overfishing among other reasons, Iceland and the Faroe Iceland have set extremely generous catch quotas. Iceland faces a similar problem due to its mackerel quotas.

In the United Kingdom, the fishing industry is valued in GBP 500 million (over EUR 774 million) and provides employment to 2200 people. 

Related articles:

- EC outlines sanctions against Faroes over herring fishing
-
Herring landings from the Faroes may be banned 

By Gabriela Raffaele
[email protected]
www.fis.com


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