Norwegian fisheries minister to meet EU Fisheries Commissioner –

Norwegian fisheries minister to meet EU Fisheries Commissioner Published:  25 July, 2011

NORWEGIAN Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen is meeting with the EU Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki in Brussels to discuss the prolonged mackerel conflict involving the EU, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

The industry in both Norway and the EU have discussed the topic, and Ms Berg-Hansen now wants to discuss the matter with his counterpart in the EU. In Brussels she will meet the EU’s Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, and she will also meet business organizations from Norway and the EU. The meetings will take place on Tuesday 26 July.

“The distribution of the mackerel stock is the biggest unresolved conflict in the fisheries sector in the North Atlantic, and to ensure sustainable management, it is important that we continue working to find a long term solution. The EU Fisheries Commissioner and I will next week discuss these issues with representatives of the industry associations in Norway and the EU,” she said.

Both Norway and the EU have reacted strongly to the Faroe Islands and Iceland setting high quotas for fishing in their waters.

“Mackerel migrate over large ocean areas, and management must be based on genuine cooperation. The current situation with catches well above the marine recommendations are untenable, and it is obvious that the mackerel stock is under heavy pressure.

“I am determined to continue efforts for a solution, but it requires that all parties act responsibly and with realistic expectations of what is possible to achieve. The Faroese negotiation tactic of fishing as much as possible, including using foreign vessels and flags of convenience, is both unacceptable and out of all the principles for modern and responsible fisheries management,” says Berg-Hansen.

The proposed reform of EU fisheries policy, and how Norway can contribute to further work on this, will also be a topic for discussion during the Minister’s meeting with Fisheries Commissioner Damanaki.