Iceland and Faroe Islands make demands over EU fish sanction stance

Fish being loaded on to trawler Image copyright PA
Image caption Scottish fishermen have been calling for action to be taken against the Faroe Islands and Iceland

The Prime Minister of Iceland has accused the European Union of an "ongoing campaign of threats" in breach of international law over the issue of fish quotas.

The EU has already agreed sanctions against the Faroe Islands, claiming the country is guilty of over-fishing mackerel and herring.

The commission wants to bring forward similar measures against Iceland.

The moves are being supported by Scottish trawlermen.

Prohibit imports

A statement from the Faroese prime minister's office said the government had requested an international tribunal to declare the European Union "in breach of its obligations" under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

It asked for EU authorities to be "ordered to refrain from the threat or adoption of coercive economic measures on the Faroe Islands".

Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson has also demanded the EU withdraws the threats and allows a peaceful settlement to be found under "free negotiations".

European sanctions will be brought in against Faroese herring and mackerel imports from the end of August.

Member states recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of the ban, following concern over the Faroese government's decision to set its own catch limits.

The legislation will prohibit the import into the EU of both species, and allows for future escalation.

It was welcomed by the Scottish government and the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen's Association (SPFA).

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