MP condemns Faroese Government who are allowing Russian trawlers to fish the area.

David Duguid MP is to meet with the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands to raise concerns about the open access being given to Russian trawlers in the so-called “Special Area” shared between UK and Faroes waters.

By John A. MacInnes
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 11:37 am
Russian trawlers are still fishing.
Russian trawlers are still fishing.

The Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan has described the decision as “morally wrong” and has called for a change in Faroese policy on the issue.

Mr Duguid will ask the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, Bárður á Steig Nielsen, why he is “turning a blind eye” to Putin’s barbaric regime when he meets with him later this week.

The shared area between the UK and Faroe was intended primarily for oil and gas exploration, but it also includes a fisheries agreement by which either state can award fishing licenses to third parties who are working in each other’s territorial waters.

But the UK and EU pelagic industries voiced concerns when the Faroes unilaterally increased its blue whiting quota from 82,000 tonnes to 267,413 tonnes. It is not yet clear how much of the 267,413 tonnes of the Faroese quota has been given over to Russia and its fishing industry.

The MP said: “It’s morally wrong that the Faroe Islands should continue to allow Russian vessels access to this area - considering the sanctions being placed on Putin's regime by the UK and her allies.

“This is why I will be asking the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands how he can justify continuing such ties with Russia.

“No country should be fuelling Putin’s barbaric war regime which is why the UK Government will not license any Russian-flagged vessels to fish anywhere in UK waters and the Faroes should do the same.

“I will also be asking for an explanation as to why the Faroes and Norway have unilaterally increased their own quota for blue whiting beyond the established scientific advice.

“I hope my meeting with Bárður á Steig Nielsen will make him think twice about allowing this to continue.”

The Faroes consist of 18 islands, inhabited by 52,000 people. The archipelago lies in the middle of the North Atlantic, at the center of the so-called GIUK gap, a transit route between Greenland, Iceland, and the northern United Kingdom—which has regained the strategic importance it enjoyed during the Cold War.