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Iceland Disappointed Over EU-Norway Giant Mackerel Quota

Lucy Towers
21 January 2013, at 12:00am

ICELAND - Following the news that the EU and Norway will continue to claim 90 per cent of the scientifically recommended total mackerel catch for 2013 in the Northeast Atlantic, the Icelandic Minister for Industries and Innovation, Steingrimur J. Sigfusson, has announced his disappointment that the changing migration patterns of the fish was not taken into account.

The Northeast Atlantic mackerel stock is an important economic resource for all the Coastal States, including Iceland, the European Union, Norway and the Faroe Islands. We must work as partners to reduce the total catch to a sustainable level if the stock is to be protected for years to come. This is why Iceland has repeatedly come to the negotiating table with reasonable, science-based quota proposals," said Steingrimur J. Sigfusson.

"It is with disappointment that we now learn that the EU and Norway have again claimed 90 per cent of the scientifically recommended 2013 total mackerel catch, leaving only 10 per cent for the other Coastal States, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, as well as Russia. This ignores the changed migration pattern of the mackerel stock and the fact that the mackerel exists in considerable quantity in the jurisdiction of other states. In fact, in 2012 there were 1,5 million tons of mackerel in Icelandic waters where it gained approximately 50 percent weight, according to scientific research.

"The key to solving the mackerel dispute is to take into account these changed circumstances and respect the legitimate interests of all Coastal states. We have continually offered proposals that are fair to all Coastal States and will protect the stock. We hope that the EU and Norway will work with us to find a permanent and sustainable solution, and remain willing to solve the issue at the negotiating table. That is in the interest of all of us as well as the mackerel stock.