NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Mackerel quota wrangle negotiations resuming

Image caption Mackerel is the most valuable stock for the Scottish fleet

Negotiations aimed at solving the long-running mackerel quotas wrangle have resumed.

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 hoped for constructive talks in Reykjavik.

He said: "Mackerel is a high-value stock for all the countries that participate in the fishery, therefore it is common sense that we work together and ensure the stock is sustainably fished.

"However, this has not been the case over the past three years.

"We need a new international agreement that will safeguard the long-term sustainability of the mackerel fishery."

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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