27 SEP 2010
By Jennifer Rankin ¦ European Voice
Agriculture ministers say quota is 'damaging' for fish stocks and for Iceland's relationship with the EU.
EU agriculture ministers have condemned Iceland's “damaging” mackerel fishing and hinted that failure to agree on quotas for this valuable fish could harm Iceland's prospects of joining the EU.
The EU has been locked in a dispute with Iceland and the Faroe Islands over the mackerel stock since Icelandic and Faroese authorities significantly increased their quotas without consulting the EU. The dispute has been simmering for two years, but escalated in August when Scottish fishermen blocked Icelandic vessels to stop them from landing their catch.
“These very high quotas have been taken without taking into account scientific advice and will be very damaging for sustainable stocks and EU fisheries,” said Kris Peeters, the Flemish minister for economy, foreign policy and agriculture, who is chairing today's meeting of EU agriculture and fisheries ministers in Brussels.
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