EU Approves Sanctions Over Iceland’s Mackerel Fishing Skip to content

EU Approves Sanctions Over Iceland’s Mackerel Fishing

Irish Member of the European Parliament Pat the Cope Gallagher confirmed yesterday that the European Parliament has reached an agreement with the Danish Presidency of the European Union on sanctions against countries accused of unsustainable fishing, that is, Iceland and the Faroe Islands who have issued unilateral mackerel quotas.


Fishing in Iceland. Photo by Bjarni Brynjólfsson.

“I am pleased that the talks between the European Parliament and the Danish Presidency have ended with agreement. I strongly believe that the agreed text will deliver both workable and effective trade sanctions, which will act as a real deterrent to countries who engage in unsustainable fishing practices now and in the future,” Gallagher stated, according to

“The mackerel dispute in the North East Atlantic is the moving force behind these new measures. However, I am still hopeful that the measures may never be used against Iceland and the Faroe Islands and I once again call on all four Coastal States to immediately resume talks with a view to resolving this long running dispute,” he added.

The agreement includes quantitative restrictions on the importations of fish into the EU including the stock of common interest and associated species.

Further measures can be applied, such as, restrictions on the use of EU ports by vessels flying the flag of the country or territory deemed to be overfishing and those transporting fish and fishery products from the stock of common interest and associated species.

Furthermore, a ban on the sale of fishing vessels, fishing equipment and supplies to the country or territory deemed to be overfishing can be imposed, as well as a ban on reflagging of fishing vessels from an EU member state to the respective country or territory.

EU Ambassadors ratified the agreement yesterday. The Committee on Fisheries in the European Parliament is scheduled to adopt the agreed text on July 10-11 and then the plenary of the European Parliament, during the week of September 10 will formally ratify the Regulation.

Click here to read more about the mackerel dispute.


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