Iceland is heading for a mackerel crisis due to the state of fishing in its territorial waters, according to Norwegian fishing newspaper
Iceland is heading for a mackerel crisis due to the state of fishing in its territorial waters, according to Norwegian fishing newspaper Fiskeribladet.
The popular Norwegian news outlet has claimed that Iceland has over 60 percent of their 148,000 tonne quota remaining to be fished, but are relying heavily on fishing in international waters.
Fiskeribladet writes, “There has hardly been any mackerel fishing in the Icelandic zone this year. Now the fleet is on a desperate hunt in the Smutthavet (Smugun in Icelandic), which is the international free zone for mackerel fishing.”
They continue, “Fiskistofa, which is Iceland’s answer to the Directorate of Fisheries, has recent figures showing that Iceland has only fished 56,200 tonnes of mackerel so far this year. This is barely 38 per cent of a total permitted quota of 148,000 tonnes including transfers from last year.
“91,600 tonnes remain to be fished. 11,300 of these tonnes have already been carried over to next year, so that 81,200 tonnes actually remain to be fished.”
Even though the quota year ends on 31 August, the Icelandic fishermen can continue to fish on this year’s mackerel quota for the rest of the year.
Icelandic fishing newspaper mbl.is has laid the blame at the door of at the lack of agreement between the coastal states saying, “Less and less mackerel have been found in Icelandic jurisdiction, and due to the lack of an agreement between the coastal states on fishing arrangements, the Icelandic vessels have to conduct their fishing outside the jurisdiction of other states. The mackerel fishing has therefore mainly taken place in Smugun, but the voyage there from the Austfjörður, where considerable processing of mackerel takes place, is about 600 nautical miles.”
The hit back at the accusations saying, “The Norwegians have used it as an argument against Iceland’s demand for a 16.5% share in the fishing, that Icelandic vessels have not been able to catch the claimed catch,” but did admit, “Last year, it was not possible to catch all the mackerel that was authorized for, and fishing companies were allowed to transfer up to 15% of the authorizations between years, but in doing so, tens of thousands of tonnes fell through. The association of companies in the fishing industry asked for authorization to transfer 30% of authorizations between years.”