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International Conference On Pelagic Species


GENERAL - The ongoing mackerel dispute, which has been raging for the last few weeks, will certainly be a central topic on the agenda of the international conference The Pelagic Complex due to kick off in Trshavn, Faroe Islands 7-9 September, under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

“The conference can pave the way for a fresh understanding of the major pelagic stocks such as herring, blue whiting and not least mackerel,” says Jacob Vestergaard, Faroe Islands’ fisheries minister and host for the conference.

Planning for the conference began more than a year ago. The Nordic Council of Ministers considers one of its most important tasks is to ensure that fisheries issues are aired properly and openly in the Nordic cooperation.

The Council of Ministers has repeatedly stressed how vital fish resources are for all of the Nordic countries. The pelagic species have migration routes which pass through the national waters of several Nordic countries, and it is crucial that these nations have a common platform from which they can discuss the relevant issues and challenges.

Mackerel will without a doubt have a prominent place in the discussions and presentations, but the objective of the conference is to delve deeper and take a closer look at the many questions being asked about the pelagic stocks, in particular mackerel, herring and blue whiting.

Attending The Pelagic Complex Conference will be representatives from the fisheries industry, politicians and scientists from all the countries that have a stake in pelagic fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic.

“Our hope is that this conference can provide us with a number of answers about how we should comprehend the changes that we are seeing in the migration patterns of pelagic stocks. How can we manage the stocks in the best and most sustainable manner? These are a few of the questions I am hoping we will get answers to,” says Mr Vestergaard. The Faroe Islands is chairing the Nordic Fisheries Cooperation in 2010.

Mr Vestergaard says this conference can contribute to a comprehensive debate, about how people whose livelihoods depend on harvesting from the sea, can best exploit these resources efficiently and sustainably, also in the future.

“The conference is an excellent opportunity to hear a broad presentation of viewpoints in the pelagic sector. It is through a conference of this kind, where everyone has their say, that we can lay a sound foundation for discussions in the future at a political level,” says Mr Vestergaard.