The European Union has threatened to block imports of Icelandic mackerel if the country does not revise its position on overfishing in the North Atlantic.
Earlier this year, the Icelandic government decided to lift its strict moratorium on mackerel fishing and begin it anew, with the hopes of boosting the economy. The move was met with worry from EU officials. Recently, Iceland set a mackerel quota for 2011 that exceeds EU limits, and the reaction was swift.
The European Commission, Bloomberg reports, is set to impose a trade ban on mackerel imports that will go into effect 14 January. This decision will in turn be notified to a committee of the European Economic Area.
“This is a step that we should undertake as a matter of urgency,” EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said in a statement today in Brussels. The purpose is to “send a clear message to Iceland.”
If Iceland doesn’t reverse its decision, it may jeopardize their chances of getting into the EU, with which it is currently in accession talks. Where else it could possibly export its mackerel is not known.
The Bloomberg article in full can be read here.