UK politicians lost patience last week when it emerged that the Faroe Islands was supporting the activity of a fleet of large Russian freezer trawlers in the shared area jointly controlled by the UK and Faroe, where they are catching blue whiting in quantities way beyond the historic Faroe share of the TAC recommended by ICES, reports Andy Read.
As well as supporting transhipment of over 300,000t of Russian fish a year, Faroe continues to provide services, fuel and supplies to both this fleet and a host of other Russian vessels working further north, or using the Faroe Islands as a base for export to Africa. Faroe also took advantage of 2014 sanctions imposed on Russia, stepping in to sell it large quantities of pelagic fish previously supplied by the UK and EU.
Pictured on a MEST shipyard slip, the Melkart 5, part of a fleet of whitefish vessels owned by Murman Seafoods, is one of many Russian vessels that have used the facility over the last few years. Targeting whitefish in the Russian EEZ, and often landing into Faroe, much of its catch may well be purchased unwittingly by UK consumers, unaware that the fish is of Russian origin.
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(Main image: Russian vessel Melkart 5 on the slip at the MEST yard in Faroe. Photo: local.fo)