Fisheries dispute between Norway and the EU

The Norwegian ambassador to the EU, Oda Helen Sletnes, has delivered a formal protest to the EU Commission, after Norwegian fishermen have been turned away from EU waters where they have been casting for mackerel.

On Oct. 1 more than 30 Norwegian vessels were on short notice turned away.

Norwegian authorities say this was unexpected and a clear breach of the bilateral fisheries agreement between Norway and the EU.

The Department of Fisheries says the dialogue with the EU Commission will continue after the weekend.

A spokesman for Norwegian fishermen says they stand to lose NOK 1 billion in export value if the EU ban is not lifted.

It is claimed that the Norwegians had exceeded their mackerel quota in EU waters, prompting the Scottish Government to seek help from the European Commission . Norway already netted its total catch limit of 53,000 tonnes on Thursday, according to Holyrood sources.Marine Scotland which conducts research, compliance monitoring and management of Scottish waters, sent a protection vessel to an area with 11 Norwegian vessels.

This is not the first time this year that mackerel has caused a few problems between nations. In April Iceland gave itself a unilateral 112,000 ton mackerel quota because it claimed it was being frozen out by the EU and the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission. Norway itself even threatened to ban Icelandic vessels from her waters if they were caught catching mackerel.

Source: Norway PostRegjeringen.no / Fishupdate.com

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