New ‘mackerel war’ negotiations taking place in Iceland

Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries, has told the media that he is optimistic for a positive outcome to new mackerel negotiations which began in Reykjavík yesterday.

Steingrímur told the online journal Fish Update that he is cautiously optimistic of a breakthrough after mackerel fishing negotiations between Iceland, the EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands have been at a deadlock.

At this week’s Reykjavík negotiations Russia is also present and all visiting nations, except the Faroe Islands, have yet to be convinced that there are large numbers of mackerel around Iceland which the country should be allowed to exploit.

Until last December the EU, Norway and Russia calculated that a sensible proportion of the total mackerel catch to allocate to Iceland would be three percent; but that figure has since been pushed up to 6.5 percent. Iceland, on the other hand, believes it should be allowed 16 to 17 percent of the total catch.