A further round of Coastal State consultations on mackerel sharing in the North-East Atlantic was held in Bergen on 28 to 31 January 2014. Despite all conditions being there for the Parties (European Union, Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norway) to reach a fair and balanced agreement on sharing the mackerel stock, a great opportunity to do so has not yet been seized.
The Commission considers that there is a very small percentage share difference in the positions of the Parties, which it should be possible to overcome. It is regrettable that Parties were unable to show sufficient flexibility at this stage to allow for the finalisation of these negotiations today.
On this occasion, Commissioner Damanaki said: “This is a multi-billion euro industry and we need to take the right decisions now to have a sustainable stock to fish for the future. A difference of 0.8% of share remains to be found. The Union has been the most flexible Party in these negotiations and has done its utmost to broker a balanced and fair deal, but entrenched positions are blocking a solution. I urge all Coastal States to reflect in the coming days in order to make a final push to resolve this dispute.”
The Coastal States are scheduled to meet again in London next week to discuss arrangements for blue whiting and atlanto-scandian herring.