The Marine Stewardship Council has suspended its certification on Scottish mackerel, after Iceland and the Faroe Islands increased their fishing quotas
This is due to the fish migrating between territories, meaning boats from other countries with higher fishing quotas can fish the same stock as Scottish fishermen.
Mackerel is the most valuable fish landed in Scotland, and was worth £164 million in 2011.
Ian Gatt, CEO of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said, “The stocks are still high enough for retailers to put Scottish mackerel on their shelves. It’s not a black and white picture. Scientists recommend an optimum of 2.4 million tonnes of spawning stock and currently mackerel are at three million. Of course if quotas continue to be exceeded, in 2015 we would probably start to see a decline in stocks.
“I just want retailers to understand the MSC suspension in context. Scottish fishermen have compiled with all the MSC’s conditions and while I can understand why certification has been withdrawn, it is unfair to penalise Scottish fishermen for a problem they did not cause,” he added.