Alistair Carmichael, Orkney and Shetland MP has called on Fisheries Minister, George Eustice to put pressure on EU negotiators to revisit the deal struck in 2013 between the Faroe Islands and the EU in the annual debate on Fisheries ahead of the December council meeting on fisheries.
Commenting in the House of Commons, Mr. Carmichael said:
“The Minister has already heard my worries about the Faroese deal on mackerel. There was enormous scepticism among the Scottish pelagic fleet, the Shetland pelagic catchers in particular, when the deal was brokered a few years ago. However, they did accept that they would give it a go. They gave it a go, and it is clear that that scepticism was, if anything, understated. This deal really is not working, as was highlighted recently by the report from Seafish, which pointed out that in 2015 Faroese boats caught almost 33,000 tonnes of mackerel in EU waters, mostly in Scotland’s, while Scottish boats got absolutely none from the Faroese waters. Worse, if the Faroese boats choose to land their fish in Scotland, they are then penalised by their Government. The Minister will know that the talks on the next iteration of this deal are to be held in Brussels on 6 and 7 December, so may I instil in him the strongest possible resolve in tackling this, because the imbalance of this deal becomes more egregious with every year that passes”
Commenting after the debate Mr. Carmichael said:
“British officials must engage meaningfully in talks at the December council to secure a better deal for Scottish fishermen, including reviewing the 2013 deal with the Faroe Islands. This deal has been bad for the Scottish Pelagic fleet. I want the Minister to listen to the concerns of the industry who are in Brussels ahead of the meeting of Ministers later on in the month, and ahead of the next EU-Norway discussion, which is the meeting which determines the entitlement of fishermen in Orkney and Shetland.”