Today, Minister of Fisheries Elisabeth Aspaker met with EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to continue discussions on the negotiations between Norway, the EU, Iceland and the Faroe Islands on the management of mackerel in the North-East Atlantic.
Four Coastal States, Norway, the EU, Iceland and the Faroe Islands share the mackerel stock following the change in migratory pattern of the stock in recent years, a change that also means that the mackerel is found in Icelandic waters. Negotiations have been ongoing since the Faroe Islands decided to leave the three-party agreement between Norway, the Faroe Islands and the EU and consequently set its own mackerel quota. Negotiations have been ongoing for several years, but it has so far not been possible to settle the issue.
Norway and the EU will continue to coordinate our strategy in the mackerel negotiations, says Fisheries Minister Aspaker. I regret that we so far have not been able to come to an agreement. However, Norway considers it crucial to continue the negotiations to find an agreement among the Coastal States. I have therefore tabled a concrete proposal [to the EU Commissioner] in order to advance the negotiations and to bring new momentum into the talks, says Aspaker. We agree to continue our bilateral talks in the near future. In the meantime, the EU has requested that the annual bilateral negotiations between Norway and the EU are put on hold.