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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Podcast 192: Faroes, Fish, and the EU

Photo credit: Xavier Häpe
This week, we explore the dispute between the Faroe Islands and the European Union regarding fishing quotas. In recent years, the Faroe Islands has unilaterally increased their allowable catch of both herring and mackerel. That prompted the European Union to bar the import of Faroese herring and mackerel to the EU and ban most Faroese fishing vessels from EU ports.

But the story isn't that straightforward. Because of global warming and other factors, fish populations in the North Atlantic have moved since the last time fish stocks were allocated. Furthermore, the EU has imposed sanctions on the Faroe Islands even though the Faroes aren't members of the EU and the fish populations in question aren't found in significant numbers in EU waters.

So how to make sense of this tangle of politics, biology, and climate science? Hopefully, this week's show can help out a little bit. We're talking to Kate Sanderson, she's the head of the Faroe Islands Mission to the European Union and once headed the Faroese ministry that regulated that country's fishing fleet. She'll talk about the relationship between the Faroe Islands and the European Union, and about the current dispute. We'll also hear from a British MP Alistair Carmichael, who believes the Faroe Islands is squandering it's reputation of good fisheries management.

You can listen to this week's show on our media player above, on iTunes, on Stitcher Smart Radio, or on the No Agenda Live Stream. You can also download the show directly here:

And we've got an online extra for this show. You can listen to an extended interview with Bjorn Kunoy. He's a doctor of international law and one of the lead negotiators for the Faroe Islands in this dispute. In this interview, Kunoy relates the history of the disagreement between the Faroes and the EU, and gives some of the legal arguments against the EU's actions. You can listen to the whole interview here. (Note: the audio quality on portions of this interview is not optimal... to put it politely.)