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Still No Agreement on Mackerel Distribution

Sustainability Politics

GLOBAL - Further consultations over the distribution of mackerel quotas was held in London 22-24 October. Norway, EU, Iceland and The Faroes have still not reached an agreement as talks fail once more.

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"There is still such a substantial gap between the parties that we were able to reach an agreement," said Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Lisbeth Berg-Hansen.

Norway and the EU, through several rounds, put forward proposals for solutions to the allocation of mackerel, but neither Iceland or the Faroe Islands showed flexibility.

Despite the lack of agreement on the distribution, the coastal states agreed to submit a joint request to ICES to evaluate existing research methods and evaluate the possibility of using new methods. The purpose is to ensure a better foundation for future quota.

The parties also agreed to establish a joint control to obtain facts about slipping, draft, high-grading, bycatch issues and weighing and inspection of landings of pelagic fisheries. Also Russia must be included in this group.

"We are still waiting for constructive and realistic suggestions from Iceland and the Faroe Islands, so that we can put in place a coastal state agreement for the distribution of mackerel," says Ms Berg-Hansen.