STATEMENT FROM THE ICELANDIC MINISTER OF INDUSTRIES AND INNOVATION
The Northeast Atlantic mackerel stock is an important economic resource for all the Coastal States, including Iceland, the European Union, Norway and the Faroe Islands. We must work as partners to reduce the total catch to a sustainable level if the stock is to be protected for years to come. This is why Iceland has repeatedly come to the negotiating table with reasonable, science-based quota proposals.
It is with disappointment that we now learn that the EU and Norway have again claimed 90 percent of the scientifically recommended 2013 total mackerel catch, leaving only 10 percent for the other Coastal States, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, as well as Russia. This ignores the changed migration pattern of the mackerel stock and the fact that the mackerel exists in considerable quantity in the jurisdiction of other states. In fact, in 2012 there were 1,5 million tons of mackerel in Icelandic waters where it gained approximately 50 percent weight, according to scientific research.
The key to solving the mackerel dispute is to take into account these changed circumstances and respect the legitimate interests of all Coastal states. We have continually offered proposals that are fair to all Coastal States and will protect the stock. We hope that the EU and Norway will work with us to find a permanent and sustainable solution, and remain willing to solve the issue at the negotiating table. That is in the interest of all of us as well as the mackerel stock.