13.03.2014 · The Government

Mackerel agreement should herald new era of fisheries cooperation in the North East Atlantic

The Faroe Islands, EU and Norway have reached agreement on a joint arrangement for the conservation and management of the North East Atlantic mackerel stock for the next five years.

The agreement, which was signed in London on Wednesday 12 March, allocates the Faroe Islands 156,240 tonnes of mackerel in 2014, which is 12.6 % of the agreed total allowable catch of 1.24 million tonnes.

In addition to individual shares for Norway and the EU, 15.6% of the total tonnage has been set aside for others, in particular with the interests of Iceland as a coastal state in mind.

Welcoming the agreement as a major breakthrough, Minister of Fisheries, Jacob Vestergaard also stressed the enormous value of pelagic fisheries to the Faroe Islands.

“I am very pleased that other parties have shown a willingness to adapt a joint management of the mackerel which is consistent with the reality of mackerel distribution and abundance in the North East Atlantic today.Sustainable pelagic fisheries are of fundamental importance to the Faroese economy and our future development as an island nation overwhelmingly dependent on fisheries. I hope that Iceland will also be prepared to join the arrangement and that we can all look forward to a future of stability and sustainable development in this very important fishery in our region.”

Minister Vestergaard stressed that after four years without a multilateral agreement on this shared fish stock, this positive outcome from the many intense consultations in recent weeks should now herald a new and more constructive era in fisheries cooperation in the North East Atlantic.

“It’s time to return to a climate of mutual respect for our respective and common interests as fisheries nations, both when it comes to the management of the fisheries and trade in the products from these shared fish stocks,” said Minister Vestergaard.

“Our contribution and commitment to joint efforts to find a resolution to the mackerel issue should leave no one in any doubt about the sincerity of the Faroe Islands as a responsible partner in fisheries cooperation in the North East Atlantic”, said Mr Vestergaard.