In an effort to come out of the deadlock, I have hosted on the 3rd of September a ministerial meeting between Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, being the four coastal parties which should commonly manage the mackerel stock in the North East Atlantic Ocean. For years we are discussing this issue, while Iceland and the Faroe’s are setting unilateral quota beyond the commonly agreed frame, putting the survival of the entire mackerel stock in danger. The discussions on a quota sharing agreement were inconclusive, while all parties said they wanted to continue the effort to find an agreement in the autumn during a further coastal states consultation process. All parties agree on the need to respect scientific advice.
Let me be clear about my position. I am disappointed by the outcome of the ministerial meeting which ended again in no conclusion about how coastal states should manage the fishing activities and share the stocks of mackerel in the North East Atlantic Ocean. We are loosing the fish stock and we are loosing the momentum for common rules based solutions between coastal states.
Now of course I could mention that the EU’s new sanctions instrument becomes available in a few weeks, I could say that I intend to use it if it becomes necessary. But is it the best way to go forward? To escalate the dispute?
So , I would just like to say: For the sake of reason let’s get all back to work on tangible results. We need healthy stocks not only for the fishermen and citizens of the EU, but equally for those in Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The painful example of the collapse of blue whiting is still there for us. Let’s just make sure that we get it right together.REFLECTING ON THE MINISTERIAL MEETING ON MACKEREL MANAGEMENT,