‘Mackerel war’ breaks out with Iceland

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Neither Norway nor the European Union is happy with Iceland, which they’re accusing of overfishing mackerel. The so-called “mackerel war” may sink Iceland’s bid to join the EU.

Iceland has decided to boost its quota for mackerel fishing to 130,000 tons, up from its “normal” level of 2,000 tons. The quota will allow its fishing fleet to continue going after the larger quantities of mackerel that are swimming into Icelandic waters after the seas got warmer.

The EU and Norway, which is not a member of the EU, claim that both Iceland and the Færø Islands are taking advantage of an extraordinary situation, and that their fishing will deplete overall stocks.A Scottish member of the EU Parliament charged that Iceland and the Færoes “are behaving just like the Vikings did, but this time it’s the mackerel they’re plundering.”

Norwegian Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen called the mackerel fishing “irresponsible” and “a serious threat” to mackerel stocks that “undermines” management cooperation. Norway has already forbidden purchase of mackerel from Iceland and the Færoes and the EU is considering a ban on all their seafood products.

Views and News staff