A meeting on the management of mackerel fisheries between the Coastal States of Iceland, Norway, the Faroe Islands and the EU held in London from October 22-24 was inconclusive, as stated in a press release from the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation.
Fishing boats in Höfn harbor, Southeast Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Chief negotiator for Iceland Sigurgeir Þorgeirsson said that a solution to the mackerel issue was urgently needed. When no consensus on the future sharing of mackerel could be reached, Iceland recommended, as an interim measure, that the total catch taken by the Coastal States and the Russian Federation for 2013 be reduced in line with a scientific assessment from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). A 15 percent reduction on 2012 levels was suggested but no agreement made.
Iceland Minister of Industries and Innovation Steingrímur J. Sigfússon expressed his disappointment on the failure to reach an agreement on the issue.
“I am disappointed that no agreement has been reached despite proposals from Iceland on a considerable reduction of the catch. We remain willing to negotiate a solution that reduces the mackerel catch for all Coastal States, based on scientific evidence, and ensures a fair share for all while protecting the stock for future generations,” he said.
The Coastal States hold a joint responsibility for ensuring sustainable fisheries, Steingrímur stated.
Scottish Member of the European Parliament Struan Stevenson wrote on his Facebook site earlier today that Iceland and the Faroe Islands presented a serious threat to the survival of the mackerel stock.
“Time for tough sanctions against Iceland and the Faroes in mackerel war after talks in London broke up again yesterday with no result. These two bandit nations will wipe out the shared mackerel stock due to their greed.”
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