European Commission: Mackerel wars 'resolved'


Sean Murphy, SeafoodSource online editor

Published on
February 10, 2014
A sign of an end to the ongoing "Mackerel Wars" in the North Atlantic Ocean emerged Friday, with a statement from the European Commission indicating negotiators may have come to an agreement over mackerel quotas.

Maria Damanaki, commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries, posted a short statement on her blog on Friday, citing "European Commission" as a source, indicating, "There have been intensive discussions and most issues have been resolved. The negotiations have been adjourned and it is expected that they will resume shortly."

Representatives for the Coastal States met in London from 6 to 7 February, resuming talks after deadlocking in December. Members of the European Union, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands have been at odds over Iceland and the Faroes fishing mackerel and herring at levels far above quotas set by the commission.

Last summer, the commission levied trade sanctions against the Faroes for both herring and mackerel, with a warning that similar sanctions against Iceland were imminent. That prompted a new round of talks, which until now have not made any progress.

The statement from Damanaki has been the only official comment on the issue. No timeline for further discussions or other details are yet available.

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