The Faroe Islands have announced they will set their mackerel quota for 2022 at 155,804 tonnes, just over 11,000 tonnes less than their 2021 quota.
On Friday, 17 June, Árni Skaale, Minister of Fisheries, after consulting with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Icelandic Refugee Council, decided to set the Faroese quota for mackerel in 2022.
The Faroese mackerel quota for 2022 will be 155,804 tonnes, corresponding to 19.6 per cent of the most licensed catch of 794,920 tonnes, some of which the Ministry of Fisheries says were agreed at the annual meeting on mackerel in London on 27 October last year (2021).
Árni Skaale says that the consultations on a new mackerel quota for 2023 and the next few years have now begun, and he hopes that these consultations will lead to an agreement on the future mackerel fishing.
In June last year, the Faroe Islands caused controversy when they unilaterally increased their mackerel quota to 167,000 tonnes (corresponding to 19.6% of the most licensed catch of 852,284 tonnes). Former Minister of Fisheries, Jacob Vestergaard made the announcement which received widespread criticism. This was an increase from 116,000 tonnes in 2020. The Faroese government claimed they were increasing their mackerel claim in line with Norway.
The decision led to calls from groups such as the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group, the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association and the European Fish Producers Association to call for sanctions against the Faroe Islands and Norway, who between them increased their mackerel quota share by 55%.