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Coastal States Mackerel Meeting to take Place this Weekend

Lucy Towers
06 September 2013, at 1:00am

The Coastal States will meet from Saturday 7 September to Sunday 8 September in an effort to resolve the dispute over coastal states' shares in mackerel fisheries.

The government of Iceland called the meeting and will host negotiators from the European Union, Norway and the Faroe Islands in Reykjavik.

During the meeting, Iceland is hopeful that a reasonable and science-based solution can be reached or at least a significant step will be taken in that direction. However, for this to happen, the EU and Norway must acknowledge the significant shift in migration patterns of the mackerel stock and the great abundance in Icelandic waters in recent years.

Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, stated ahead of the meeting: “We are looking forward to hosting the coastal states meeting in Reykjavik this week. Iceland called this early meeting because the debate over the mackerel catch demands a fair resolution. Yet rather than pushing towards a fair outcome, the EU is making threats and launching attacks that only harm efforts to find a lasting shared-quota agreement.

"To help protect the marine ecosystem and each of our economies, we must carefully consider scientific data and recommendations from ICES to come to a mutually beneficial solution. We hope that the coastal states involved will put threats of sanctions to one side and approach these talks with an open mind. We are confident that diplomacy and dialogue are best path to a solution and we stand ready to play our part.”