NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

'No deal' over mackerel quotas in second day of talks

Smoked mackerel
Image caption Smoked mackerel has become increasingly popular in recent years

Attempts to resolve the controversy over mackerel quotas around the Faroes and Iceland have failed to reach a conclusion after a second day of talks.

Negotiators from the EU, Norway, Iceland and the Faroes will resume talks on Thursday but discussions may go on until later in the month.

Earlier this year the Faroes and Iceland unilaterally increased catch amounts in their own waters.

Fishermen from Scotland and Norway say the move threatens future stocks.

President of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen's Association Ian Gatt said he was disappointed at the lack of progress, but not surprised.

"What we've been told is there's been no movement by any side, but the encouraging things is that they're still in discussions," he told BBC Scotland.

"But already they're talking about having a break next week, discussing some other stocks next week and reconvening in the week after, so it doesn't look like there's going to be an immediate resolution to this."

Mackerel is the most valuable stock to the Scottish fishing industry, bringing £135m into the economy last year.

Traditionally Iceland landed very little, but fishermen there say stocks have moved further north into their waters.

This year the country set its own quota at 130,000 tonnes. The Faroe Islands also increased their quota from 25,000 to 85,000 tonnes.

Both have already been warned they could face sanctions over the issue.

The Faroese fishing boat Jupiter was prevented from landing its £400,000 catch at Peterhead in August after being confronted by fishermen angry over the quotas.

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