Iceland: Mackerel talks reach standstill again

Iceland: Mackerel talks reach standstill againIceland revealed it failed to reach a deal with “one coastal state”, thought to be Norway, as mackerel talks in London came to a close on Thursday.

The coastal states – made up of Iceland, Norway, the Faroe Islands and the European Union – held talks last week on the on the total allowable quota and catch allocations for mackerel next year. Russia and Greenland were also present as observers.

However, Iceland’s foreign ministry said no agreement was reached because, despite the other parties’ consent, one coastal state could not agree on Iceland’s share.

Icelandic Fisheries Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson described it as “very unfortunate” that the coastal states appear unable to come to a comprehensive agreement on how to manage the mackerel stock.

He went on to say that he was also greatly concerned about the fact that some coastal states that should be responsible for managing sustainable fisheries in the North-East Atlantic were unable to agree on how the shared pelagic stocks should be managed in the region.

Johannsson said Iceland was committed to work alongside the other states to secure the sustainable management of all stocks by following scientific advice. He added that scientific research proved there was “continued massive presence” of mackerel in Icelandic waters.