A Scottish member of the European Parliament referred to Iceland and the Faeroe Islands as “bandit nations” on Facebook, in response to a continued disagreement over the fishing of mackerel stocks.
Mackerel fishing has long been a contentious subject between Iceland and the EU. While Iceland maintains a quota that they believe is sustainable, EU leaders have said Iceland is overfishing the stocks, and have repeatedly threatened to issue punitive measures if Iceland does not reverse its policy. Recently, the European Parliament passed a measure to ban any Icelandic mackerel from being landed at EU ports.
As talks continue between Iceland and the EU, things apparently did not go as well as conservative MEP Struan Stevenson would have liked yesterday.
Writing on Facebook, Stevenson posted, “Time for tough sanctions against Iceland and the Faroes in mackerel war after talks in London broke up again yesterday with no result. These two bandit nations will wipe out the shared mackerel stock due to their greed.”
Stevenson has not been one to mince words about Iceland in the past, either. In 2011, he accused Iceland and the Faeroe Islands of engaging in “smash-and-grab tactics,” saying, “These countries are hellbent on destroying fish stocks and destroying jobs in the EU. … We should immediately sever all such contracts and refuse to trade with either country until they see sense and agree to enter into a realistic and sustainable agreement on the future management of mackerel.”