Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today condemned a move by Norway to unilaterally increase its fisheries quota following the failure of current negotiations with the UK, calling the action “irresponsible”. Norway has moved to raise its annual north-east Atlantic mackerel quota by more than half (over 100,000 tonnes), in a move similar to controversial actions by Iceland and the Faroe Islands in the past.
Mr Carmichael said:
“It is hard to see this unilateral action by Norway as anything other than enormously counterproductive. The sea unites us all – to force through a self-serving rise in quota without consulting with neighbouring countries is not just poor behaviour diplomatically but short-sighted environmentally. All coastal communities have an interest in the sustainable future of the sea and the fisheries that we share. This action is irresponsible and will do no one any good in the long run.
“Decisions on quota should be decided based on the science and in fair and open negotiation – if Norway no longer believes in this basic principle then it risks setting a dangerous precedent.”