Commissioner meets EU and Norwegian representatives prior to mackerel talks –

Commissioner meets EU and Norwegian representatives prior to mackerel talks Published:  28 August, 2012

On 27 August Commissioner Maria Damanaki received representatives of the EU and Norwegian fishing industry to discuss the management of the North East Atlantic mackerel stock.

The industry had asked for the meeting in the light of the upcoming meeting in London on 3 September where Commissioner Damanaki will meet her colleagues from the other Coastal States in an attempt to find a solution for the current mackerel stalemate.

The industry informed the Commissioner on the results of the two international scientific surveys carried out earlier this year, which confirmed the general increase in the size of the mackerel stock, which the mackerel fishermen also had seen on the fishing grounds and a reduced abundance of mackerel in the Icelandic waters.

The industry furthermore outlined the 11 principles on which an agreement on the management of the mackerel stock must be based:

1. Fresh start of the negotiations (earlier offers made by EU and/or Norway are not valid anymore)

2. No reward for bad behaviour

3. The demands by Iceland and Faroe Islands are unjustified

4. Zero access for Iceland in EU and Norwegian waters

5. Time is working against Iceland

6. Sharing agreement between all parties – no partial agreement

7. New arrangement must made be for a limited period

8. Direct application of sanction measures by the EU and Norway

9. EU-accession talks with Iceland must be adjourned

10. Blue whiting sharing arrangement must be revised

11. Greenland must not be granted Coastal State status nor be part of a future sharing arrangement

The EU and Norwegian industry consider that the meeting was positive and constructive and emphasised to Commissioner Damanaki to use all the leverage available to her to come to a fair sharing arrangement with all relevant parties. Should such a fair agreement not be possible then the industry was unanimous in its view, ´better no deal than a bad deal’.