Diplomacy and science interact in Iceland mackerel debate

Sensitive EU-Icelandic discussions on mackerel fishing are reportedly going well, according to head of the Icelandic delegation, Tomas H. Heidar.

Iceland’s unilateral declaration of mackerel fishing quotas in recent years has drawn harsh criticism from Europe – especially this year, and especially from Norway and the UK (Scotland in particular).

Iceland has traditionally been excluded from quota setting meetings due to the fact that it is not a mackerel fishing nation. Scientific research and recent experience have, however, proven this to be wrong, as warmer waters have brought huge numbers of mackerel into Icelandic seas.

Heidar told RUV that at no point in the discussions have sanctions against Iceland been hinted at.

It was decided last year that Iceland would be invited to join the next joint EU, Norwegian and Faroese quota setting discussions for mackerel fishing. The talks will be held in the middle of October and an end to the so-called Mackerel War will hopefully follow.

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