European Voice reports that
European Union fisheries ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday (17 October) are expected to agree on the distribution of rights to fish in the Baltic Sea in 2014.
There is, however, to be another item on the agenda:
The ministers will also discuss the annual consultations between the EU and Norway on their bilateral fisheries agreement, which is likely to encompass the ongoing fishing dispute over mackerel with Iceland.
There has been a great deal on this blog about the bullying of Iceland and the Faroe Islands. There is no need to repeat any of that for the time being. However, it is interesting to note in the light of the argument about the size of catches and whether, as both the Icelanders and the Faroese insist, there has been an increase in the amount of fish available, that
Last week, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), an independent scientific organisation, issued recommended mackerel catch levels for 2014 of 889,886 tonnes, a 64% increase from 2013, based on the fact that the stock has expanded north-west towards Iceland. Based on this migration, Iceland has begun unilaterally increasing its fishing, but the EU has threatened sanctions. Iceland welcomed the ICES report.
What exactly is the EU's argument and why is Britain supporting it, given the facts? Come to think of it, does Britain have the right not to support it as long as the common fisheries policy remains in place?