Iceland defies EU fishing rules as accession bid talks begin

30 Jul 2010

Iceland has kicked off its EU accession negotiations by saying it will not tolerate competition from rival fishing fleets in its waters. The country’s foreign minister has said his country must keep control of its vast, exclusive economic zone in the Arctic.

Fish accounts for nearly half of Iceland's exports, Ossur Skarphedinsson told EU foreign ministers.

Iceland's pro-whaling stance and a dispute over the collapsed Icesave bank are also seen as hurdles in its EU bid.

Despite the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), Skarphedinsson said, Iceland's exclusive economic zone, covering some 760,000sq km (293,438sq miles), should become "a specific management area where Icelandic authorities continue to be responsible for management of the fisheries".

Iceland argues that it pursues sustainable fishing and can provide a model for long overdue reforms of the CFP.

[Source: BBC]

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