Iceland and Norway fight over fish

Norwegian Makerel

Norwegian Mackerel

In light of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission’s exclusion of Iceland from their 640,000 tonne quota of caught mackerel, Iceland have unilaterally claimed 112,000 tonnes of the quota in defiance. The European Union has stated that this contravenes global agreements but authorities in Reykjavík have dissociated themselves with such an accord.

In response to this, Norway have threatened to ban Icelandic trawlers from their fishing waters and even place an embargo on fish oil and fish meat from Iceland. The EU is now concerned about the situation, as its executive division, the European Commission, has stated that this move by Iceland will reverse positive fishing trends in mackerel stock, and will nullify efforts to conserve the fish stock.

Iceland have maintained a strong stance on the matter and have affirmed their rights. They have denied any wrongdoing by claiming they are not party to European fishery deals in the first place. This is understandable Iceland have repeatedly requested to be participants in mackerel stock division in the North East Atlantic, but have been consistently denied.

The feud with Norway is hopefully under control as the countries Ministers of Fisheries meet to discuss the problem. Norway’s J. Sigfusson has reportedly forecasted that Iceland will henceforward enjoy full participation in the division of mackerel in European fishing – if they choose to accept the inclusion after all this time. He said that privately meeting to discuss a solution was better than talking to each other through the media, which can tend to ratchet up the tension.

In the same week, three Russian trawlers have been arrested by Norwegian coastguards for alleged illegal fishing in their waters.

Source: International Supermarket News

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