European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki says that the EU has worked hard at coming to a solution in the mackerel dispute and now it is Iceland’s turn to make concessions.
Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Damanaki met with ministers in Iceland on Tuesday, Frettablaðið reports.
“We all have the same goal. We want sustainable fish stocks,” she said “We need to come to an agreement, and quickly for the sake of our fish stocks. However, we cannot accept any unilateral decisions,” she continued.
According to Frettablaðið, Damanaki makes it clear that she is of the opinion that Iceland is not doing enough to reach an agreement in the mackerel dispute.
“Three years ago we made an offer (on quota allowance), which we have now increased by 60 percent. We need to see some movement now on Iceland’s side.”
Damanaki emphasized that the EU would continue to show flexibility and commented that she does not feel that Iceland is getting special treatment as all agreements will be based on EU rules.
“We have been flexible, for example in the negotiations with Croatia, who have now completed the accession negotiations. Fisheries was one of the major hurdles of the negotiations there but we found a solution,” she said.
Irish Member of the European Parliament Pat the Cope Gallagher reportedly confirmed on June 27 that the European Parliament has reached an agreement with the Danish Presidency of the European Union on sanctions against countries accused of unsustainable fishing, that is, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, who have issued unilateral mackerel quotas.
The agreement includes quantitative restrictions on the importation of fish into the EU.