Help for Scottish fishermen as sanctions a step closer


Sanctions to conserve herring stocks and help protect the livelihoods of Scottish fishermen have been outlined by EU Commission

The EU sanctions on Faroe in relation to herring could:


  • Prevent import of herring into the EU
  • Prevent vessels that fish for herring landing into the EU
  • Prevent EU vessels going to fish for herring in Faroese waters

The Commission are preparing further legal advice on similar sanctions in relation to mackerel on both Iceland and Faroe. They will also seek an early meeting to discuss the situation with the new Icelandic Government. 

Speaking from EU Fishing Council in Brussels, where the action was discussed after his request to add it to the agenda, Scotland’s Fishing Minister Richard Lochhead said:

“It is good news that at long last we have real movement towards sanctions that will see the irresponsible fishing of Faroe punished. 

“The sanctions discussed today will stop the sale of unsustainably caught herring in EU markets as well as stopping EU boats fishing for herring unsustainably under the Faroese flag.  This should help reduce the damage inflicted to date on our fish stocks.

“Our fishermen fully deserve the protection these sanctions will give them.  But it is disappointing that no firm action has yet been agreed in relation to Iceland and Faroe consistent over fishing mackerel, and I hope that will come shortly.

“A number of states expressed extreme frustration over the Commission’s lack of action to date, so the Commissioner’s movement today couldn’t have come soon enough.

“I hope that this action on herring will persuade Faroe and Iceland to get back round the table – with an international mediator if necessary – and agree a long-term deal to ensure future protection of stocks and future viability of Scotland’s fishing fleet.”