The European Parliament has backed moves to impose sanctions on Iceland and the Faroe Islands in a row over mackerel quotas.
Scots trawlermen have been demanding the move after the two nations awarded themselves large increases in catch limits.
The move gives the European Commission powers to impose sanctions after various negotiations failed to find an agreement.
Scottish fishermen have welcomed the news and are urging the European Commission to implement the measures as soon as possible.
The next round of negotiations between the EU, Norway, Iceland and the Faroes is due to resume next month and Scottish fishermen are keen that a clear signal is given that a fair and equitable deal must now be reached.
The broad ranging sanction measures agreed means the EU is now in the position to apply restrictions on the imports into the EU of Icelandic or Faroese caught mackerel, which would also have the scope to cover other fish species associated with the fishery.
Other sanction measures agreed include restrictions on the use of EU ports by vessels flying the flag of the country or territory deemed to be over-fishing, and restrictions on boats transporting fish and fishery products from the stock of common interest and associated species.
Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We welcome today’s vote by the European Parliament, although it is essential that the European Commission now moves quickly to implement the measures. As the biggest stakeholder in the EU mackerel fishery, UK and Scottish Ministers will have a vital role to play by putting pressure on the commission to ensure it does enact the sanction measures as fast as possible.
“This is the third straight year without an international agreement on mackerel, which means the sustainability of this valuable fishery is being jeopardised. Hopefully, today’s vote will help ensure that Iceland and the Faroes recognise the seriousness of the situation and at long last they will return to the table to engage in meaningful negotiations.”