The Icelandic Foreign Ministry today called the Ambassador of Norway and representatives of the European Union and Faroe Islands in for a meeting to raise Iceland‘s serious concerns to the manner in which yesterday's agreement on mackerel-fishing was reached. By exceeding the recommendations made by ICES, The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, Iceland believes the agreement jeopardizes sustainable use of the mackerel stock.
“Iceland has participated in the negotiations on mackerel to ensure Iceland's fair and rightful share based on sustainable utilization; until last week, when the meeting of the four coastal states was adjourned. Iceland and the EU had reached a common understanding on sustainable fishing, which the EU is now turning its back to. It seems that our partners were working on a different agreement behind the scenes”, said the Foreign Minister.
He said that Iceland was now faced with an ultimatum, which entails overfishing of mackerel, at least to begin with. “Our conclusion is that all parties lose. We have remained ready to negotiate on the basis of sustainable utilization. The EU was on board with us until as late as yesterday. The fishing stock is endangered by the overfishing which this agreement is based on,” the Foreign Minster added.