The European Fisheries Commissioner is to seek action that could lead to an EU-wide ban on Icelandic and Faroese mackerel.
Both Iceland and the Faroes have walked away from recent talks with the EU and Norway on a new international deal that would help safeguard the future of the mackerel fishery.
With the December EU Fisheries Council underway yesterday, Commissioner Maria Damanaki told Member States she was consulting with colleagues on how restrictions on landings of Icelandic mackerel in EU ports could be applied. The Commissioner also said that she would push for new regulations that could result in a ban on fish imports from any state acting outwith international fishery agreements, such as the Faroe Islands.
This is the latest in an ongoing conflict over the management of the mackerel resource in the NE Atlantic. With a lack of agreement over quota sharing, a result of the mackerel stock migrating into warmer northern waters off Iceland, the debate appears to be hardening on all sides. In addition the Marine Stewardship Council, which has certified several mackerel fisheries, has indicated that sustainable certification could be lost if the debate is not resolved and the stock is overfished due to the additional quota taken by Iceland and the Faeroe Islands.
The dispute appears far from over.