Controversy over Iceland’s Mackerel Continues Despite Quota Decrease - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Controversy over Iceland’s Mackerel Continues Despite Quota Decrease

Published February 5, 2013

Minister of Industries and Innovation Steingrímur J. Sigfússon announced on Sunday that Iceland would be decreasing its 2013 mackerel quota by 15%, projecting Iceland’s total catch to be 123,182 tonnes.
In a statement on the Ministry’s website Steingrímur is quoted as saying “Iceland is taking fewer mackerel from the sea in 2013. The 15 percent reduction in the weight of our catch aligns with the recommendations from international scientific experts. Our 2013 mackerel quota continues our efforts to help preserve the mackerel stock, which is our top priority.”
This announcement has done little to silence opponents of Iceland’s mackerel fishing practices. After the decreased 2013 quota was made public European Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki condemned Iceland for making a unilateral decision to award itself nearly a quarter of the total north Atlantic mackerel quota, and for the country’s ongoing refusal to enter into an international agreement on division of mackerel quota.
In a statement released in response to Steingrímur, the Commissioner notes, “the Commission regrets Iceland’s announcement of a unilateral fishing quota for mackerel. We regret that Iceland has decided its own quota unilaterally and not in consultation with its partners, for yet another year. Iceland’s claim to reduce its quota conceals the fact that Iceland’s unilateral quota remains excessively high, before and after the reduction.” Adding, “Iceland’s self-awarded quota of 23% exceeds by far Iceland’s own claim, made at the negotiating table, and anything that scientific surveys can justify.”
For more on the ongoing MACKEREL WARS:
Mackerel Dispute Gets Tougher For Iceland
Mackerel Dispute Has No Bearing On EU Negotiations
Mackerel Mayhem And The Unholy Triangle
Mackerel Quota “One-Sided Political Trick”

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