Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries Steingrímur J. Sigfússon contacted his Norwegian counterpart Helga Pedersen yesterday to discuss her harsh comments to the media on Tuesday regarding Iceland’s unilateral 112,000-ton mackerel quota.
Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries Steingrímur J. Sigfússon. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
Pedersen said she was considering stripping Icelandic ships of their fishing licenses in Norway and even placing an embargo on fishmeal and fish oil from Iceland, Fréttabladid reports.
“I don’t think any such measures will be taken,” Sigfússon said after his conversation with Pedersen. “I made it very clear that I didn’t think that this matter could be solved by speaking with each other through the media. It is much better do discuss it privately and find a resolution.”
In Sigfússon’s view, the most likely solution to the mackerel debate is that Iceland will be given a seat at the negotiating table with other mackerel fishing nations to decide how the mackerel quota should be divided.
Sigfússon added that he had explained to Pedersen during their conversation that his ministry had issued a unilateral quota to prevent mackerel fishing from getting out of control, that his decision had been part of a plan to organize mackerel fishing in Iceland.
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