Scottish fishermen will have increased catching opportunities for north-east Atlantic mackerel in 2017 following an agreement reached at coastal state negotiations yesterday (19 October) between the EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands.

Under the agreement, which follows scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, a total allowable catch of 1,020,996 tonnes has been set, which will give the UK a quota of around 240,000 tonnes.

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We welcome that agreement has been reached at this stage in the annual negotiating process as it brings stability and certainty to the 2017 fishery.

“The good news is that according to the science the stock is in good health, which has enabled an increase in the quota that also ensures the sustainability of the fishery. Scottish caught mackerel carries the prestigious Marine Stewardship Council ecolabel, which means that consumers can buy the fish safe in the knowledge that it comes from a sustainable source.”