Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson Iceland´s Minister of Fisheries has expressed disappointment that negotiations on mackerel between the Coastal States in London this week have not resulted in an agreement between the parties.
The Minister said: “We had every reason to believe that this time the Coastal States had a real opportunity to reach an agreement, particularly in view of the last advice on TAC for 2014 for mackerel by ICES. This advice provides for 64% greater catch than the advice for 2013. This increase, however, was not considered sufficient by some Coastal States.
Moreover, we witnessed a firm, but unreasoned, demand from one Coastal State, namely Norway, to raise the TAC to 1.300.000 tonnes, which is close to 50% in excess of the advice for this year and 140% over the advice for 2013. This is in blatant contradiction with the generally acknowledged principle by the Coastal States, and the precautionary approach, that management of the mackerel stock should secure a sustainable utilization of the stock.”
The Minister added that Iceland has in recent months made considerable concessions aimed to contribute to a solution and said:“ After the very favourable last advice on TAC for mackerel by ICES we made substantial concessions from our demands as regards shares and possible access. We had reached a common understanding with the EU on how to come to a solution. This we did in good faith. I deeply regret that this was not supported by all the parties. This would have secured a sustainable utilization of the mackerel stock in the years to come.”