Fishing boat

The EU’s ban on Faroese herring and mackerel takes effect on 28 August

The EU’s ban on imports of herring and mackerel caught by Faroese vessels is on track to come in on Wednesday 28 August.

The EU Regulation, adopted by the Commission yesterday, has been published in the Official Journal of the EU today and will enter into force seven days after publication.

It identifies the Faroe Islands as “a country allowing non-sustainable fishing of the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock” and claims to establish measures “in respect of the Faeroe Islands to ensure the long-term conservation of that stock”.

The EU’s gripe with the Faroe Islands relates to the herring stock. However, the regulation explains that mackerel has been included in the ban because the species cohabits with herring. “By continuing to catch and export mackerel, the Faroe Islands would be led to also continue to catch high amounts of herring,” it says.

The regulation prohibits the introduction into the EU – including for transhipment purposes – of Faroese-caught herring and mackerel or fishery products “which consist of, are made of, or contain Atlanto-Scandian herring or mackerel caught under the control of the Faroe Islands”.

The Atlanto-Scandian herring stock is the largest herring stock in the world but between the early 1970s and the mid-1990s fishing of it ceased after overfishing led to collapse. It reopened in 1996.