Coastal States meet to resolve mackerel fisheries dispute –

Coastal States meet to resolve mackerel fisheries dispute Published:  05 September, 2013

THE Coastal States will meet on 7-8 September in an effort to resolve the dispute over their shares in mackerel fisheries.

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

During the meeting, Iceland hopes 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, Iceland argues that 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: “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 the best path to a solution and we stand ready to play our part.”