Norway wants new fisheries agreement with Iceland

Norway wants to resume talks with Iceland on a new agreement for herring fisheris in the protected zone around Svalbard as soon as possible, says press spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs, Karsten Klepsvik.

Norway wants to resume talks with Iceland on a new agreement for herring fisheris in the protected zone around Svalbard as soon as possible, says press spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs, Karsten Klepsvik.


Norway may in this way be able to end the conflict over the Svalbard zone and avoid being taken before the International Court in the Hague by Iceland.

The two nations failed earlier this year to reach agreement on a new quotas for herring.

Since then, Norway has refused permission for Icelandic fishermen to fish in the protected zone around Svalbard.

Norway established a protected zone around Svalbard, in order to ensure a stable stock of fish, but this zone has never been recognized by any other nation.

Norway is afraid for a "free-for-all" which would ruin the basis for the rich fish stocks in the Svalbard waters outside the protected zone.

However, Iceland has contested Norway's right to establish the zone, and has threatened to take Norway before the International Court in the Hague over the issue.