The date today is 08-12-10

Mackerel – the big question

Nov 1st, 2010 | By editor | Category: EU Government News

The Icelandic/EU/Norway mackerel talks continue without any real signs of closure.

Iceland said this weekend that it will have to be offered a larger share of the North Atlantic mackerel quota if the third round of talks due to start in another week are to have any chance of success – the EU/Norway block are offering the Icelanders 26,000 tons compared to their self-determined quota of 130,000 tons.

As around 23% of the total mackerel stock (195,000 tons) are to be found in Icelandic waters during the summer months and as the Icelanders consider themselves sole owners of the stocks in their waters, the EU / Norwegian proposal was strongly rejected. According to Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead, the opposing sides are still far apart.

The governments are threatening that failure to reach agreement could result in sanctions being taken against Iceland including the possibility of a total seafood ban. Recent figures show that fishing is five times more important to Iceland’s national economy than any other European country and one of its main earners of export revenues.

But the really big question is – what will the EU and Norway do if there is no agreement, will they award themselves a ‘quota’ consistent with the past ignoring Iceland’s ‘quota’, or will they look to maintain a sustainable fishery by reducing their overall take ?

If the former, we will see how 2 + 5 will somehow equal 3 -  so how will that sit with Scotland’s claim to have conservation as a top priority in the commercial fishing sector ?

If the latter, no – it will never happen, stocks will just be depleted quicker.

Related posts:

  1. EU & Norway reach a deal
  2. EU – Norway talks breakdown
  3. Scott slams SNP comments

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