NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Mackerel quota talks fail to reach agreement again

Negotiations aimed at solving the long-running mackerel quotas wrangle have failed to reach an agreement.

Scottish fishermen have been voicing concern since Iceland and the Faroes announced a sizeable quota increase.

Mackerel is the most valuable stock for the Scottish fleet, and the European Commission has threatened sanctions against Iceland and the Faroes.

Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said he was disappointed about the talks in Reykjavik.

He said: "It is deeply disappointing and enormously frustrating that we are facing another year without a mackerel deal.

"The lack of progress this week has been very worrying.

"This impasse must come to an end by some means, to secure this fishery for decades to come."

Iceland and the Faroes have argued that the mackerel stock has gravitated north in recent years - with claims they have been affected by climate change - so they have now been fishing in their own zones.

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