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Minister's Meet To Discuss CFP & Seafood Trade

Sustainability Politics +2 more

NORWAY - The EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Minister for Fisheries and Coastal Affairs held political talks in Bergen. Matters discussed included the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), trade in seafood and management of our common fish stocks. Special attention was paid to the coastal states' mackerel negotiations during the discussions.

EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki visited Norway to discuss important common challenges faced by Norway and the EU in the fisheries sector and to learn more about the seafood industry and management in Norway. Ms Damanaki and Ms Berg-Hansen visited the Directorate of Fisheries and the Institute of Marine Research. Following the political discussions, they will travel to the municipality of Austevoll, where they will meet representatives of the fishing and aquaculture industries.

"It is very useful to have a direct dialogue about important fisheries and maritime policy issues. The commissioner and I share the view that we must work together in the production of safe, high quality seafood within sustainable limits, both with regard to harvesting of our common resources and the aquaculture industry," said Ms Berg-Hansen, Norway's Minister for Fisheries and Coastal Affairs.

"The partnership also encourages us to discuss challenging issues, and we have both emphasised that we want to find a new long-term solution for the management of mackerel," said Ms Berg-Hansen, after the political discussions.

"In order to achieve our target of sustainable seafood production, it is vital that the overcapacity in the fishing fleet is reduced, and Norway has long experience of various methods for doing so."

The reform proposed by Ms Damanaki this summer signalled a new direction for the EU and its common fisheries policy. "I fully support the commissioner's efforts to ensure sustainable fisheries management. I am especially pleased about the proposal of introducing a ban on discarding of fish."

The EU is Norway's closest market for seafood, and 60 per cent of Norway's total seafood exports go to the EU. At the same time, Norway is the largest supplier to the EU, with a market share of 20 per cent of the total supply to the EU seafood market.

Ms Damanaki commented: "Maritime activities have a huge economic potential. Through them, we can seek better opportunities, and we can achieve prosperity and growth. Moreover, maritime policy also offers a great potential of cooperation with others. By pursuing a policy of 'open horizons' in the seas and oceans you can interact with, and you can have a better understanding of, other nations, peoples, and cultures."

"As well as their needs and interests. This is essential in the globalised world we live in. Norway is a very important partner of the European Union. We have excellent relations in the political field. And we have also very promising relations in the maritime policy area."