Monday

13th Jul 2020

Letter

Oslo and Brussels end mackerel spat

Scottish Fishermen's Federation head Bertie Armstrong's comments on Iceland's mackerel fishery as 'ridiculous behaviour' in EUobserver's story from 27 January are totally off the mark and unfounded.

Mackerel is no different from any other fishing by Icelandic vessels. Every catch is reported and weighed before being recorded in a central database, where information is accessible to all interested parties.

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  • (Photo: Karin Beate Nøsterud/norden.org)

Once the allowed catch is reached, fishing is terminated or revised to ensure a responsible approach - as in the recent mackerel fishing activity in 2009, where the regulation was altered to limit catch when the total catch had reached a significant proportion at a much earlier stage than anticipated.

Iceland is a coastal state and fisheries in the Icelandic Exclusive Economic Zone are therefore managed by Iceland and not through the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commisson - NEAFC. Norway and the EU have the right to fish for mackerel in their respective jurisdictions and Iceland has the same right in Icelandic jurisdiction.

As an established coastal state, Iceland has for the last decade repeatedly requested participation in the meetings of the coastal states where they decide upon the mackerel quota. The request has been largely ignored until recently.

The Icelandic Fisheries Ministry's regulation for next year's mackerel fishing was published on purpose before last year's meeting of Norway, the Faroe Islands and the EU in Edinburgh. Thus these parties could take our decision into account when settling on a total quota for the mackerel in 2010.

Sigurdur Sverrisson is Head of Corporate Communications of The Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

Oslo and Brussels end mackerel spat

Norway and the European Union have reached agreement on fish quotas after a lengthy and at times choppy negotiation process. The agreement now allows both Brussels and Oslo to unite to tackle the sensitive subject of Icelandic overfishing of mackerel.

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