* Measures to take effect a week after official publication
* Faroese ban a step towards measures against Iceland
* Iceland, Faroe Islands say EU breaking international sea
(Updates with reaction from Faroe Islands)
By Barbara Lewis
BRUSSELS, Aug 20 EU authorities banned imports
of herring and mackerel from the Faroe Islands on Tuesday and
said they would prevent some Faroese boats from docking in EU
ports, escalating tension in a dispute about alleged
EU officials have said the Faroese sanctions are a first
step towards similar measures against Iceland in a long-running
argument over how much mackerel should be caught. The spat has
drawn comparisons to the "cod wars" of the 1950s and 1970s, and
helped to derail Iceland's EU membership bid.
As the threat of sanctions loomed last week, Iceland and the
Faroe Islands accused the European Union of violating
international maritime law.
Faroe Islands Prime Minister Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen on
Tuesday said the European Union's "coercive economic measures"
could undermine regional talks on herring management, scheduled
for next month.
The European Commission, the EU executive, said it had to
act to protect a fish stock referred to as the Atlanto-Scandian
"The imposition of such measures is always done as a very
last resort. The Faroese could have put a stop to their
unsustainable fishing but decided not to do so," European
Commissioner for Maritime and Fisheries Affairs Maria Damanaki
said in a statement.
The measures endorsed on Tuesday have to be officially
published, which is expected to take place over the coming days,
and will take effect seven days later.
As well as the ban on herring and mackerel fish caught by
Faroese vessels, they stop the islands' vessels from docking in
EU ports, except in the event of an emergency.
The Commission said it had done its best to find a
negotiated solution after the Faroe Islands awarded itself a
quota that more than trebled its previously agreed share of the
Atlanto-Scandian herring stock.
The Faroe Islands is a self-governed territory within the
Danish Realm and not part of the European Union.
Until this year, the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock was
managed jointly by Norway, Russia, Iceland, the Faroe Islands
and the European Union.
The five meet on September 2-3 in London to debate herring
The Faroese prime minister said the EU sanctions broke the
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and might make it more
difficult for the parties to reach an agreement at the meeting.
(Editing by John O'Donnell and Andrew Heavens)