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Iceland Needs to Focus on Reaching a Resolution to the Mackerel Dispute, says SFF

31 January 2013

SCOTLAND, UK - Iceland should be directing its efforts towards seeking a resolution to the mackerel dispute in the north-east Atlantic rather than engaging in ‘futile’ PR exercises, says the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.

With the news that the Icelandic Government is hosting a visit by UK journalists on a media trip to Iceland this week, the SFF says that rather than using ‘spin to defend the indefensible’, Iceland should be focusing its efforts on re-opening negotiations.

“This is another futile attempt by Iceland to defend its indefensible action of dramatically and unilaterally increasing its mackerel catch outwith an agreed international management plan,” says Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF.

“It is a pity that Iceland doesn’t spend the same amount of time and effort in trying to find a negotiated solution to this dispute. The ball is very firmly in the court of both Iceland and the Faroes as they need to table a counter offer so as to get the negotiating process rolling again. So far this has not happened and in repeated negotiations over the last few years, where the EU and Norway have made several increased share offers, both Iceland and the Faroes have shown no willingness to seek a compromise solution.

“This is why the EU is so exasperated by the situation that the European Commission has informed the Coastal States involved in the fishery that it refuses to attend further meetings until an offer has been received by either or both parties. One also has to question why Iceland continually sets its mackerel catch at 23 per cent of the TAC set by scientific advice when they are demanding a 15 per cent share in the negotiations, which is a strange approach to sustainable catching.”

TheFishSite News Desk

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