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Thread: EU "must act" to curb Faroe and Iceland

  1. #101
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    Default Iceland and Faroes set to announce new mackerel quotas

    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...el_quotas.html


    A NEW confrontation is looming in the mackerel war with Iceland and the Faroes Islands as the two countries prepare to announce new quotas for next year.

    According to the Icelandic fishing newspaper Fiskifrettir, analysts are forecasting that Iceland will give itself the same quota as 2010 - 130,000 tons. But there are suggestions that the Faroe Islands could raise its catch share from 85,000 tons to 97,000 tons.

    If this happens then the two countries will be set on a collision course with Norway and the European Union which say Iceland and the Faroes risk permanently damaging the mackerel stock in the North Atlantic. Demands for sanctions against the two fishing 'rebels' are certain to grow and EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki has hinted that Europe may ban their mackerel exports to the member states.

    Meanwhile, Fisikifrettir says that the European Union has given itself a mackerel quota of 401,000 tons for next year, to be shared among the member states who fish for the species, and Norway has given itself 183,000 tons. This is a total of 584,000 tones or 90.4 per cent of the 646,000 tones recommended by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). This leaves 9.6 per cent or some 62,000 tons to be shared between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, but the two countries have said they are not having that and have consequently set their own quotas.

    After walking away from this year’s north-east Atlantic mackerel quota negotiations, Tómas Heidar, chairman of the Icelandic committee on mackerel fishing, who walked away from the Oslo talks two weeks ago, said the European Union and Norway will be responsible for overfishing mackerel next year if they don’t review their decision on catching over 90 per cent of the estimated quota for 2011. Mr Heidar claimed the EU and Norway were ignoring the legal rights of other states, such as Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Russia, to have a larger share of the mackerel quota.

  2. #102
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    Default Iceland warns that Norway and EU will overfish mackerel next year

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/latest-new...next-year.html

    Monday, 20 December 2010 11:28

    THE BITTER war of words over Iceland’s stance on the key mackerel issue escalated today with the accusation from Iceland that the EU and Norway will bear the “primary responsibility” for overfishing mackerel next year.


    Tomas H. Heidar, chief negotiator for Iceland on mackerel fisheries told fishnewseu.com that he wanted his country’s side of the story reflected fairly.

    And he contended that the the decision by the EU and Norway to take together,
    583,882 tonnes of mackerel next year, more than 90% of the total allowable catch recommended
    by scientists of 646,000 tonnes, is “totally unjustified” and amounts to a
    decision to overfish mackerel next year.

    He went on:

    ”The EU and Norway are not the sole
    owners of the mackerel stock and by taking almost all the recommended total
    allowable catch, they disregard the legitimate interests of the other two
    coastal states, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, as well as the interests of
    Russia.

    “In our view, the EU and Norway bear the primary responsibility of
    overfishing of mackerel next year which is of deep concern to us.”

    Mr Heidar said It cannot be disregarded, and has to be taken into account when allocating
    the mackerel, that in recent years mackerel has been migrating in growing
    quantities into the Icelandic exclusive economic zone.

    “This year, over one million tonnes of mackerel, a quarter of the stock, migrated into the
    Icelandic zone during the feeding season, four to five months, and increased its
    weight there by some 25% with obvious impacts on other important fish
    stocks and the Icelandic marine ecosystem as a whole.

    “The Fisheries Minister of Iceland already notified the other parties two
    weeks ago that Iceland intended to keep its current share of 16-17% in the
    mackerel fisheries next year and encouraged them to take that into account
    in their quota decisions.

    “ Unfortunately, they have not. The Minister´s
    decision to set a mackerel quota of 146,818 tonne takes into account the
    increased recommended total allowable catch and ensures an unchanged share
    of 16-17% for Iceland in the mackerel fisheries next year.”

    Mr Heidar contended that Iceland remains committed to finding, in cooperation with the other coastal states, a “fair solution” on the allocation of mackerel that takes into
    account the legitimate interests of all the parties.

    The Scottish fishing industry have in the meantime urged the EU to take swifter sanctions action against Iceland following the move to up their mackerel quota to just under 147,000 tonnes.

    And Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead has said it is now more important than ever to stand up to Iceland’s actions.

  3. #103
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    Default Iceland and Faroes facing near certain EU mackerel export ban

    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...xport_ban.html

    ICELAND and the Faroe Islands are now facing an almost certain ban on mackerel exports to the European Union. Last night Iceland was firmly put in the international dock over what is regarded as a brazen decision to increase its self-proclaimed mackerel quota.

    The move was welcomed by both Scottish ministers and fishing leaders as a just punishment for the two countries’ “reckless behaviour”.

    Until yesterday, the Icelandic Press had been reporting that Reykjavik would keep its catch limit at the 2010 level of 130,000 tons, thus leaving some room for further negotiations. But it has effectively stuck two fingers up at the European Union member states and Norway with a 146,881 ton quota for 201, an increase of 16,818 tons. The Faroe Islands have yet to announce their quota, but predications are that it could also declare an increase.

    Not surprisingly,Scottish fishermen have condemned the Icelandic move which has firmly placed the country at odds with the European Union and Norway. Both the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen's Association (SPFA) and Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead hit out at Iceland's move. SPFA chief executive Ian Gatt said the decision smacked of desperation and was "sheer political posturing".

    What is surprising is that a country which supposedly prides itself on good fishing management - its cod fishery was this weekend officially confirmed as being responsibly managed - should take such a gung-ho attitude over mackerel.

    The question now is: What does the EU and Norway do next? Europe's fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki is now certain to push through a ban on mackerel exports to EU countries. But given the current world demand for quality fish protein, they would have little difficulty in selling their mackerel to countries outside the EU, notably Russia and China. Mr Lochhead said: "Salt is rubbed in to the wound by the fact the Faroes have gone ahead with a backhand deal to sell their mackerel quota to Russia."

    A total ban on all Icelandic fish exports, particularly cod and haddock, is thought highly unlikely and would not be welcomed by the Humber's many fish processing factories.

    The move will certainly put in jeopardy Iceland's application to join the EU. However, that would be welcomed by the country's fishing industry and a growing number of Icelanders.

    With mackerel worth around £135 million to the Scottish economy, something will have to be done. Iceland has shown in the past that when it comes to fishing disputes it can be doggedly stubborn as former deep water trawler ports like Grimsby, Hull and Aberdeen can testify to their cost. Ian Gatt is probably right when he described the move as political posturing, but the next few months will test to the full Europe's determination against that of Iceland.

  4. #104
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    Default Stevenson welcomes Iceland blockade bid in ‘mackerel war’

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/latest-new...kerel-war.html

    Tuesday, 21 December 2010 14:17

    SCOTS Tory MEP Struan Stevenson has welcomed moves by the European Commission to ban landings of Icelandic mackerel at EU ports.

    The office of Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki today confirmed that she has started preparatory work to prohibit landings of mackerel from Iceland in EU ports. The move is in line with provisions in the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement which gives non-EU nations Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein access to EU markets.

    Mrs Damanaki has made a formal request to convene a meeting of the EEA Joint Committee no later than January 14, 2011 to discuss how the blockade could be implemented.

    Mr Stevenson said: “This is the clearest possible indication that Commissioner Damanaki is prepared to act tough as well as talk tough.

    “Right at the start of this dispute I said a blockade might be needed to get Iceland to see sense. I’m glad this firm action is now being pursued, as it’s clear Iceland are not prepared to drop their totally unreasonable demands.

    “Iceland likes to present itself as the poor wee victim of the big bad EU, but let’s not forget the facts here. Iceland has unilaterally demanded a quota of 147,000 tonnes next year, even more than their exorbitant catch in 2010 which caused such outrage and sparked the ‘mackerel war’.

    “This is a huge quota for a country of just 320,000 people, which only a few years ago hardly fished any mackerel at all.

    “This is a shared, migratory stock that Scottish fishermen have worked hard to fish sustainably. Iceland and the Faroe Islands have shown utter contempt for this good management with their smash-and-grab tactics.

    “Although this action is targeted at Iceland, we may hope that the Faroe Islands will also realise that their actions have consequences.”

  5. #105
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    Default Stevenson accuses Iceland of ‘playing political games’ over mackerel

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/latest-new...-mackerel.html

    Wednesday, 22 December 2010 11:38

    Iceland’s enormous mackerel quota-take has been orchestrated by its government to avert an embarrassing referendum defeat, Scots Tory MEP Struan Stevenson has said.

    He said Iceland’s announcement last week that it will further increase its astronomical mackerel catch by a further 17,000 tonnes to 147,000 tonnes in 2011 is a “political game” designed to anger the EU.

    Iceland’s government hopes the EU will be so enraged it cancels accession talks with the crisis-hit North Atlantic nation. Recent polls have shown the majority of Icelandic voters are opposed to EU membership, so a move by the EU would save the Icelandic government from staging a referendum it is likely to lose.

    Yesterday, European Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki confirmed she has started proceedings to block Icelandic mackerel landings at EU ports.

    Mr Stevenson said: “This whole Icelandic saga is no longer about fish, but EU membership.

    “Polls show that over 60% of Icelanders do not want to join the EU. What better way for the Icelandic government to get themselves out of this political jam than to provoke a crisis and then blame the EU for slamming the membership door in their face?

    “It seems abundantly clear that this is their hidden agenda. They are playing political games in the hope that they will avoid having to call an embarrassing referendum, the result of which could have been a major setback for the current Icelandic government, if not a resignation issue.

    “But the sad fact is that while Iceland plays games, their plundering of North Atlantic mackerel stocks will place the whole future of the fishery in doubt. It is breathtakingly irresponsible for Iceland’s government to behave in this way.”

    Meanwhile Tomas H. Heidar, Iceland’s Chief Negotiator at the recent series of meetings on mackerel fisheries has told fishnewseu.com that Iceland would not be concerned if a landing ban on Iceland’s mackerel fishing fleet was implemented by the EU.

    He said: According to Icelandic law, foreign vessels fishing from shared stocks, on which there is no management agreement, are not permitted to land their catches from such stocks in Icelandic ports. Icelandic authorities obviously do not object to the same rules applying to the landing by Icelandic vessels in foreign ports of catches from shared stocks on which there is no management agreement.

    “It should be noted in this context that mackerel fisheries by Icelandic vessels have in recent years almost exclusively taken place within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone of Iceland and all catches have been landed in Icelandic ports and processed in Iceland.

    Mr Heidar continued: “The decison by the EU and Norway to take, together, 583,882 tonnes of mackerel next year, more than 90% of the total allowable catch recommended by scientists, 646,000 tonnes, is totally unjustified and amounts to a decision to overfish mackerel next year. The EU and Norway are not the sole owners of the mackerel stock and by taking almost all the recommended total allowable catch, they disregard the legitimite interests of the other two coastal States, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, as well as the interests of Russia. In our view, the EU and Norway bear the primary responsibility of overfishing of mackerel next year which is of deep concern to us.

    “The Fisheries Minister of Iceland already notified the other parties three weeks ago that Iceland intended to keep its current share of 16-17% in the mackerel fisheries next year and encouraged them to take that into account

    in their quota decisions. Unfortunately, they have not. The Minister´s decision to set a mackerel quota of 146,818 tonnes takes into account the increased recommended total allowable catch and ensures an unchanged share of 16-17% for Iceland in the mackerel fisheries next year.

    “We remain committed to finding, in cooperation with the other coastal States, a fair solution on the allocation of mackerel that takes into account the legitimate interests of all the parties.”

  6. #106
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    Default Faroes mackerel certification tripped up by coastal states agreement collapse

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/latest-new...-collapse.html

    Thursday, 23 December 2010 12:35

    THE Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has issued a statement about an objection to the certification process for Faroese mackerel.

    The MSC says that an independent adjudicator, Melanie Carter, has remanded an objection on the Faroese Pelagic Organisation North-East Atlantic Mackerel Fishery to the certifier, Det Norske Veritas (DNV).

    The statement continues: “In their assessment, DNV scored the fishery as consistent with international laws or standards aimed at achieving sustainable fisheries. However, because the Faroe Islands have not agreed a way of sharing the quota between coastal states (currently agreed by Norway and the EU), Ms Carter concluded that it was unreasonable of DNV to describe the fishery as meeting the minimum level required.

    “The decision follows an oral hearing and further submissions by the certifier, fishery client and the objectors, Marine Scotland. Marine Scotland’s objection has now been remanded to DNV who must now reconsider their scoring of the fishery on PI 3.1.1 and either change it or provide justification for their decision.

    “Normally, the certifier would be given 10 working days to supply their response but in light of the Christmas period, Ms Carter has extended that deadline until 14th January. Once DNV has responded, the other parties in the objection will be given a further 5 working days to respond to their decision. Ten working days after the 14th, the Independent Adjudicator will publish her final decision on whether DNV’s response has been ‘adequate to meet the matters raised in the remand’ or if the objection should be upheld.

    The MSC advises that the decision should have no effect on the other MSC certified mackerel fisheries which all fall within Norwegian or EU jurisdiction.

    Ms Carter notes, in her response, that “EU and Norway have put in place their own bilateral agreement setting out their agreed share of the TAC” and that “the degree to which a management system is in place may vary according to the different jurisdictions.” All of the MSC certified mackerel fisheries are still subject to the harmonised condition that requires them to establish a mechanism for monitoring and managing the combined catch of all the nations (including Iceland and the Faroe Islands) before the end of 2011. The certifiers of the other fisheries will, however, need to account for this outcome and the difference in their fisheries in their next surveillance reports.

  7. #107
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    Default Icelandic fish quotas stance a political ploy?

    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...cal_ploy_.html

    COULD Iceland's mackerel grab be a ploy to avoid a humiliating referendum defeat over its bid to join the European Union?
    This is certainly the view of Scottish Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson who has been the most outspoken critic of both Iceland and the Faroe Islands over their self-proclaimed mackerel quotas, which many fear could eventually destroy the stock.
    Mr Stevenson said that he believed Iceland’s government hopes Europe will become so enraged that it will cancel accession talks with the crisis-hit North Atlantic nation. “This whole Icelandic saga is no longer about fish, but EU membership,"he declared.
    “Opinion polls show that over 60 per cent of Icelanders do not want to join the EU. What better way for the Icelandic government to get themselves out of this political jam than to provoke a crisis and then blame the EU for slamming the membership door in their face?"
    His comments come at a time when there is certainly deep division in Iceland over EU membership, with the fishing industry firmly against. But Arni Pall Arnason, Iceland’s Minister of Economics and Trade said just before Christmas that the nation faced a choice between the single European currency or ongoing currency exchange restrictions and a relapse to a much simpler means of trade with the outside world if it keeps the krona. Writing in the Icelandic newspaper Frettabladid Mr Arnason said that the second option (keeping the krona) would, in reality, mean a return to simpler trade and sustained exchange restrictions.
    Mr Stevenson said it seemed abundantly clear that a Europe get out ploy was the hidden agenda of the present government in Reykjavik. "They are playing political games in the hope that they will avoid having to call an embarrassing referendum, the result of which could have been a major setback for the current Icelandic government, if not a resignation issue," he added. He maintained everyone knew the Icelandic fisheries minister Jon Bjarnason was firmly opposed to membership.

  8. #108

    Default

    The saying goes @@@@@@@ in your own nest. Thats what the Scottish pelagic fleet has done big style. If they had allowed the Faroese boat Jupiter to land her catch in Peterhead, probably Iceland and Faroe would have adhered to thier quota allocation. Are they worried about the ban from landing in EU countries?. Not one bit, given the world wide demand for mackerel. Its pay back time from Iceland and Faroe and boy have they succeded.

  9. #109
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    Default EU set to bar Icelandic boats in "mackerel war"

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE7094TK20110110

    BRUSSELS | Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:18pm GMT

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is to tell Iceland this week that it will impose sanctions on Icelandic fishing vessels in the "mackerel war" that has threatened Iceland's bid to join the bloc, an EU source said on Monday.

    At a meeting on Thursday of the European Economic Area -- the EU, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein -- EU officials will reveal plans to refuse landings of mackerel from Icelandic boats at EU ports unless Iceland reduces its catch of the fish.

    The EU source said Iceland seemed unlikely to comply.

    Home to just 320,000 people but a major power in the Atlantic fisheries, Iceland began talks last year on joining the 27-nation EU in the hope of greater stability and financial security after the collapse of its banking system in 2008.

    But the island has also sought to benefit from a surge in mackerel stocks in its waters, an apparent consequence of warmer sea temperatures. This has brought it into a conflict over catch quotas with Britain, Ireland and Norway, whose governments have traditionally managed mackerel quotas among themselves.

    "The case will be presented at a special meeting with Iceland this week," the EU source said. However, no date for starting refusing Icelandic mackerel landings has been set.

    The dispute has worsened since fishing talks broke down last summer and Iceland unilaterally increased the amount of mackerel its boats could catch to 130,000 tonnes, compared to a traditional catch which the EU estimates at 2,000 tonnes.

    It has prompted comparisons with the "cod wars" of the 1950s and 1970s, when Iceland and Britain deployed naval forces.

    Iceland says more than 1 million tonnes of mackerel, a quarter of the stock, migrated into its economic zone during the five-month summer feeding season. It plans to maintain this year's 17 percent share of the north Atlantic catch in 2011.

    It criticised the EU and Norway last month for failing to take that into account when they jointly decided to take 583,882 tonnes of mackerel in 2011, the majority of the amount that scientists say is ecologically safe to catch.

    (Reporting by Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

  10. #110
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    Default

    Doubtful that this will make any difference to Iceland Gavin , they will just sell their fish to China and Russia in the same way the Faroes have done so they don't need the EU markets for Mackerel at all. The only way to make them change would be to bar ALL imports of fish from them which won't happen so we're stuck with the Mackerel stock being overfished and if nothing changes in 5 years I would doubt we will have boats catching Mackerel at all as Iceland and the Faroes will have destroyed the stock with the way they're acting just now.

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