Icelandic Minister Pens Column For Wall Street Journal

Published December 12, 2012

Iceland’s Minister of Industry and Innovation, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal on a contentious subject that has caused trouble between Iceland and the European Union: mackerel.
Mackerel fishing has been a hot topic between Iceland and the EU. While Iceland maintains a quota that they believe is sustainable, EU leaders have said Iceland is overfishing the stocks, and last September, the EU parliament passed a measure issuing sanctions against Iceland over the matter.
In a column written for the Wall Street Journal, Steingrímur articulates Iceland’s point of view on mackerel fishing:

At present, each country sets a voluntary quota on the amount of mackerel it will catch. But because the quotas are self-imposed and there is no limit on the collective catch, mackerel is being overfished.
That’s not good for anyone. Yet instead of looking for a solution that grants everyone a fair share, certain EU states are blaming Iceland, demanding that it alone reduce its catch. … Sustainable fisheries are essential to Iceland’s livelihood, and we are proud of our small nation’s track record in this area. The countries that have rejected our efforts to resolve this issue are undercutting the health of our fishing industry and jeopardizing the livelihood of many thousands of our fishermen and their families who depend on the longevity of the mackerel stock.

Steingrímur recommends rather that “interim measures” be taken until a long-term solution can be found, suggesting that “each coastal state to reduce its catch next year by 15-20%”. This, he says, EU leaders have rejected, leaving a situation that is unfortunate for all parties involved.
“Iceland does not object to the EU’s efforts to fight overfishing,” Steingrímur says. “We are deeply troubled, however, that the EU refuses to acknowledge that its member states take an oversized proportion of the catch. Targeting Iceland will not lead to better collaboration over this shared resource. Sanctions should be reserved for rogue states and harmful regimes, not for a close ally.”



News
“Did I Advance? No, Unfortunately Not”

“Did I Advance? No, Unfortunately Not”

by

Despite her best efforts, Iceland’s Eurovision contestant María Ólafsdóttir did not advance through yesterday’s semi-finals with her song “Unbroken.” This

News
Bird-Flipping Bus Driver Still A Mystery

Bird-Flipping Bus Driver Still A Mystery

by

The bus driver who has repeatedly given Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson the finger has not been identified, nor has the

News
Police Can Do Little To Stop “Skutlarar”

Police Can Do Little To Stop “Skutlarar”

by

There is not much the police can do to stop people from offering to give other people rides in exchange

News
Skólavörðustígur To Become Giant Waterslide

Skólavörðustígur To Become Giant Waterslide

by

The downtown street of Skólavörðustígur will have its continuous slope put to better use this July, when it is temporarily

News
Director Translates Funny At The Icelandic Documentary Film Festival

Director Translates Funny At The Icelandic Documentary Film Festival

by and

Director Ragnar Hansson has always been fascinated by stand-up comedy. He’s a filmmaker who’s worked with, and written, comedy for

News
Progressive MP Projectile Vomited At The Pentagon, Plot Thickens

Progressive MP Projectile Vomited At The Pentagon, Plot Thickens

by

The curious case of the projectile vomiting MP continues to develop, with conflicting stories of his health coming from fellow

Show Me More!