Environment minister Richard Benyon said last night that the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was “not fit for purpose” and that he would be calling for reform.Every single minister who has been responsible for fisheries policies has said that since the days of Heath's Government, and all the while they have presided over the absolute destruction of a once great industry. They have presided over an environmental catastrophe, and now.
Now it looks like our friends on the continent are gunning up for a second war with Iceland. Cod War II.
In what some observers are already calling "Cod Wars II", EU nations are expected to take retaliatory action to put pressure on Iceland and the Faroes to reduce the quantity of mackerel they catch. The EU has already threatened trade sanctions which could result in a ban on Faroese and Icelandic imports of cod, herring, whiting, haddock and mackerel. Iceland set a 130,000-ton quota this year while the Faroes gave themselves an 85,000-ton quota. The figures are many times bigger than five years ago.Interestingly it appears that both sides have been acting in bad faith,
The EU and Norway last night (Friday) set a multi-lateral quota of 646,000 tonnes, which is in line with the ICES recommendations for the whole stock.Which would leave the Faroese, the Icelandics and the Russians with er -5%
The agreement will lead to the UK's mackerel share to grow by 14,000 tonnes to 190,000 tonnes
The Faroese point out that the fish hang around in their, not EU waters and thus will set their own quotas.
So this will not be a war of gunboats and ramming, but of blockades and writs. The EU is planning a new Continental System.