The EU pelagic fishing industry, under the aegis of EAPO and Europêche, has hit back at the Norwegian government’s unilateral decision to increase its share in the mackerel fishery, urging the EU to take immediate action to prevent this.
The EU, Norway and Faroe Islands have a joint sharing and management arrangement of this highly migratory stock which has been in place since 2014. The UK’s decision to leave the EU has created uncertainty for all who fish in the northeast Atlantic as the UK seeks to establish new fisheries relationships.
UK’s negotiations with Faroe Islands and Norway have now officially been terminated without an agreement, while negotiations between the UK and EU are still ongoing.
Gerard van Balsfoort, chair of the EU pelagic industry, criticised the Norwegian decision. “Norway’s unilateral increase by 55% of its share in the Northeast Atlantic mackerel fishery is a new low in our fisheries relations and totally undermines the effective management of our shared and widely distributed pelagic stocks,” he said.
“It is extremely disappointing that Norway, that markets itself and its seafood products worldwide as the nation with the most prudent and responsible fisheries management system, now has chosen to act in such an irresponsible manner.
“The EU should seriously consider to use its power as the world’s largest import market for seafood to take action to stop such reckless and irresponsible behaviour by Norway,” he concluded.