Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries Kristján Thór Júlíusson has signed off legislation governing mackerel fishing in Icelandic and NEAFC waters for this year.
For the 2021 mackerel fishery, Iceland has set a 140,627 tonne quota, a figure that is equivalent to 16.50% of this year’s total allowable catch.
Iceland’s decision has already been declared to NEAFC.
Faroese fisheries minister Jacob Vestergaard, in consultation with the Parliamentary foreign affairs committee, has set the 2021 Faroese mackerel quota at 167.048 tonnes, equivalent to19.60% of the 852,284 tonne TAC agreed by the coastal states in December last year.
The Faroe Islands have opted to increase their share, in line with the Norwegian decision. The Faroes had under the previous coastal states agreement had since 2014 had a 12.60% share of the TAC.
Jacob Vestergaard commented that he hopes to see positive talks between the coastal states this autumn, which will take place under the leadership of the Faroe Islands.
These developments follow close behind Norway’s decision to award itself a quota equivalent to 35% of the TAC for this year – a move that has been welcomed by the Norwegian fishing sector but which has come under heavy criticism from European fishing industry organisations and NGOs.
As Norway, the Faroes Islands and Iceland between them have so far awarded themselves quotas equivalent to more than 70% of this year’s mackerel TAC, it remains to be seen what catch levels the European Union, Greenland and the UK – as a brand-new coastal state – will set themselves.