Holy mackerel, it’s Cod Wars 2

Reminiscent of the cod wars of the seventies, Scotland and Norway are urging the EU to impose sanctions on Iceland and the Faroe Islands, accused of gobbling up North Atlantic fish stocks.

Published on 24 August 2010 at 11:01

It's summer, and off the coast of Britain anglers are enjoying a blue-grey abundance of mackerel. Barbecued, smoked, or baked in cider, this firm favourite provides a seasonal guilt-free treat, certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). But in a dispute echoing the cod wars of the 1970s, Britain and the EU are on the brink of a mackerel war with Iceland and the Faroe Islands, who have ripped up agreed quotas, unilaterally awarding themselves the lion's share of north Atlantic stock.

UK fishermen are furious; the EU is condemnatory. Those in the industry, meanwhile, claim that the dispute puts at risk not only the future of Britain's pelagic fishing industry, but the future of mackerel itself as a healthy, sustainable fish. Last week 50 fishermen blockaded Peterhead port in Aberdeenshire, physically preventing the Faroese vessel Jupiter from offloading 1,100 tonnes of the fish to a processing plant. Now a prominent Scottish MEP is calling for sanctions against Iceland and the Faroes, an island group situated between Britain and Iceland and an autonomous province of Denmark. Read full article in the Guardian...


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