Fishing industries meet Damanaki to discuss mackerel

Today the EU and Norwegian fishing industries' met Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki to discuss the “reckless and irresponsible behaviour” of Faroe Islands and Iceland in “continuing to plunder the mackerel stock with impunity”.

2011 is the fourth year that Iceland and the second year that the Faroes have allowed themselves a “virtually limitless mackerel fishery” in their waters based on enormous autonomous mackerel quotas.

After the talks, the European Association of Fish Producers Organisations, said: “Both countries act completely outside the current management plan for this stock and outside the scientific advice by ICES. For the Norwegian and European pelagic industries the mackerel stock is their lifeblood and the lack of effective measures by the EU and Norway aiming at bringing both countries back to regular management of the mackerel stock is extremely disappointing."

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We are pleased that the Commissioner has reacted positively to our proposed action plan and we are very hopeful that in the near future both the Commissioner and the Norwegian fisheries minister will be successful in adopting measures to stop this reckless and irresponsible behaviour by Iceland and the Faroe Islands”.

The industries requested the following actions by the Commissioner:

  • Work together in close cooperation with her Norwegian ministerial colleague in the same manner as the industries are doing
  • Immediate inspection visits to Iceland and Faroe Islands under the heading of NEAFC
  • Enforcing existing NEAFC regulation backed up by the EU and Norwegian regulation on IUU
  • Implement a total import ban into EU and Norway of all fish and fish products from Iceland and Faroe Islands
  • Freeze accession talks with Iceland

Unfortunately, due to the tragic events in Norway last week, the scheduled meeting with minister Berg-Hansen was postponed to a later date in August.

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