Still no agreement on mackerel
No quota sharing agreement was made during the meeting in London. © European Commission
On 3 September European Commissioner Maria Damanaki hosted a ministerial meeting in London, aimed at resolving the continuing dispute over mackerel quota allocations in the north east Atlantic.
The meeting between Ms Damanaki, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, Norwegian Minister of Fisheries, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Icelandic Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture and Jacob Vestergaard, Minister of Fisheries of the Faroe Islands ended with no quota sharing agreement being made, as the respective positions remain too far apart.
All parties have agreed that the effort to find an agreement should continue in the autumn coastal state consultations process, and they have all agreed on the need to respect scientific advice.
A joint statement by Ms Damanaki and Ms Berg-Hansen said: "We are extremely disappointed at the inconclusive outcome of today's Ministerial meeting on mackerel management. We will continue working closely together on this key issue, by all necessary means."
Richard Lochhead, Scottish fisheries secretary, added: “It’s unacceptable for any state to compromise the sustainability of a shared fishery by setting hugely inflated quotas. And if we continue to see self-interest and stubbornness as the hallmark of the Iceland and Faroese stances then we need the EU to be equipped to take meaningful action. That’s why we need the EU to press on with its long-promised sanction proposals and implement them as soon as possible.”
Scottish fishermen have also expressed their disappointment at the failure of the meeting.
Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We are disappointed that there was no breakthrough, but if a fair deal wasn’t on the table for the EU and Norway, then we support the negotiating position adopted by Commissioner Damanaki.
“If it is not possible to reach agreement at this high level, then one has to question whether there is any hope at all for the next round of talks scheduled for October. This makes it even more important than ever that the European Parliament ratifies sanction measures against Iceland and the Faroes this month, and that the EU wastes no time in immediately implementing them.”
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