Cope in Iceland on Mackerel talks

Donegal MEP, Pat the Cope Gallagher is, this afternoon, in Iceland discussing the ongoing mackerel dispute.

Donegal MEP, Pat the Cope Gallagher is, this afternoon, in Iceland discussing the ongoing mackerel dispute.

The EU - Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee are meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland today and is co-chaired by the Ireland North West MEP.

It will discuss various aspects of Iceland’s negotiations to join the EU including ways to establish stronger local and regional links.

The Icelandic Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture, Mr. Steingrimur J. Sigfússon will also address the Committee where Ministers will discuss with the Committee the mackerel dispute in the North East Atlantic.

In the wake of the massive overfishing by Iceland and the Faroe Islands, the Committee on Fisheries in the European Parliament appointed Pat the Cope to oversee trade sanctions against such countries engaged in unsustainable fishing practices.

Mr. Gallagher said “The delegation from the European Parliament will send a clear message to the Icelandic Minister. The overfishing of mackerel is totally unacceptable. The delegation will urge the Minister to re-engage in talks with the other Coastal States with a view to reaching an immediate agreement on the shared mackerel fishery.”

“I shall outline to the Icelandic Minister for Fisheries the express intention of the Committee on Fisheries to broaden the trade sanctions originally put forward by the European Commission so as to include all fish and fishery products,” he added.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries will vote on the trade sanctions report by Mr. Gallagher on 24 April.