Iceland walks out of fishing talks
Monday 13 December 2010
Britain and the EU are on the verge of a trade war with Iceland and the Faroe Islands after talks to agree a quota for fishing mackerel collapsed.
Iceland and the Faroes have set their own vastly increased quotas and walked out of negotiations with the EU which were intended to find a mutually acceptable figure.
In what some observers are already calling "Cod Wars II", EU nations are expected to take retaliatory action to put pressure on Iceland and the Faroes to reduce the quantity of mackerel they catch. The EU has already threatened trade sanctions which could result in a ban on Faroese and Icelandic imports of cod, herring, whiting, haddock and mackerel. Iceland set a 130,000-ton quota this year while the Faroes gave themselves an 85,000-ton quota. The figures are many times bigger than five years ago.
Richard Benyon, the UK's Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, said: "The lack of an agreement ... on mackerel is a major threat to the stock's future sustainability and we are considering what actions we can now take to make them see sense."
The row escalated on the eve of the EU Fish Council in Brussels, which starts today, where EU fisheries ministers will set catch quotas for a host of other species for the next year.
Britain faces a further problem on the quotas because it has been claimed in a study by the the Pew Environment Group that the three-quarters of UK fishermen who use boats which are less than 10 metres (33ft) long– many of them an environmentally friendly alternative to trawlers – are being illegally denied their fair share of the quota. This is because the quotas are distributed on behalf of the UK Government by Fishing Producer Organisations (FPOs) whose members sail mainly in bigger boats.
Thomas Appleby, a senior law lecturer at the University of the West of England, claimed the Government has no legal right to pass distribution rights to FPOs. "Aspects of the current quota system are open to judicial challenge on the grounds of the illegality of the current arrangements," he said.
He said the delegation to the FPOs of statutory responsibility for handing out quotas is questionable in law because legislation was never created to allow them the role, and argued that the quota-distribution system is leading to the privatisation of the seas when they should be a publicly owned resource. They cannot, he said, be privatised without the enactment of a law specifically allowing it, a move the Government has not taken.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary supply teac...
£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Full time German Supply Teacher...