|EU and Norway fight unilateral Faroese and Icelandic mackerel quotas|
|Wednesday, 04 August 2010 00:00|
The EU and Norwegian pelagic industries made a statement today that they were joining forces to demand tough action against the "irresponsible” mackerel fishing by Iceland and Faroe.
In a joint statement issued this afternoon, they said the EU and Norwegian pelagic fleet owners had an urgent meeting yesterday in London to discuss the “very worrying” situation in the mackerel fisheries, caused by the “irresponsible behaviour” of Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
Iceland set up unilateral mackerel quota of 130,000 tonnes earlier this year. Last week it was joined in a similar action by the Faroese government which set itself the quota of 85,000 tonnes. Both decisions were made against scientific advice in contrast to EU and Norwegian management plan for mackerel which is fully compliant.
The statement went on that EU and Norwegian vessel owners welcomed the decision of the Norwegian government to prohibit landings of mackerel by Faroese or Icelandic vessels in Norway and they called upon the European Commission and member states to do the same.
“Moreover they discussed ways to organise an industry-based blockage of mackerel landings in the EU by vessels from the Faroe Islands or Iceland. “
They also called upon their authorities to decide an immediate import ban for all fresh and frozen seafood products into the EU and Norway from Iceland and Faroe Islands, including fish oil and fish meal and to close their ports and their 200 miles zones for any Faroese or Icelandic fishing vessel.
The EU and Norwegian industry representatives stressed that they feel very strongly that their governments should protect the mackerel stock and the interests of their fishing fleet against the behaviour of Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
Gerard van Balsfoort (EU industry), Audun Marak and Sigurd Teige (Norwegian industry) in a joint statement said : “This is the moment that we expect from our political leaders and administrations to work closely together in designing and deciding immediate and effective measures against Iceland and the Faroe Islands in order to defend the mackerel stock and the EU and Norwegian mackerel industry. This is a test case. If EU and Norway are not able to stop the outrageous behaviour by Iceland and the Faroe Islands the credibility of fisheries management at large is at stake.”