SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP has welcomed a unanimous vote today (Tuesday) in the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee backing possible EU sanctions against countries embarking on non sustainable fishing.

The vote was on a draft Commission regulation proposed in the wake of Iceland and Faroe's failure to reach agreement with the EU and Norway on mackerel quotas.

It comes a month after the North Sea and Atlantic mackerel fisheries lost their Marine Stewardship Council accreditation as a result of the ongoing dispute.

Mr Hudghton commented:

"The European Parliament has sent out the strong message that a deal must be reached on the important mackerel fish stocks. These stocks have previously been fished sustainably and they are of huge economic significance.

"It is rare for the parliament's Fisheries Committee to vote unanimously given that its members represent a variety of interests. Nevertheless, today MEPs representing all groups - north and south, the industry and environmentalists - united to back possible sanctions.

"It is important for everyone, including the Icelandic and Faroese industries, that a solution is found. Hopefully the parliament's message will go some way in hastening a satisfactory conclusion."

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