“There is no evidence that Norway sets its quota too high or causes overfishing”

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Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen has rejected criticism from the Dutch government.

On Thursday, it was reported that the Dutch government is threatening a salmon war against Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The backdrop is an alleged overfishing, especially of mackerel, by the northern European fishing nations.

Salmon war
The Dutch ruling right-liberal party VVD and the Christian Democratic CDA argue that Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands systematically set their quotas too high, which causes overfishing.

Read also: Netherlands threatens salmon war against Norway, Iceland and the Faroes

In order to hit the supplier countries as hard as possible, the Dutch government is considering sanctions, including stopping imports of salmon from the three countries.

Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen rejects the suggestion that Norway is guilty of the overfishing of mackerel.

“Norway regrets that it has not been possible for the coastal states to agree on a distribution of mackerel for 2021. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has therefore had to set a unilateral quota for 2021, based on ICES scientific advice and our best professional estimate for Norwegian zone affiliation,” Ingebrigtsen told SalmonBusiness.

No evidence
“There is no evidence that Norway sets its quota too high or causes overfishing,” he said firmly.

“The coastal states will meet in London from 19 to 21 October to negotiate on the management of mackerel. Norway will work for a coastal state agreement on the distribution of mackerel quotas,” said the Minister.

Legal basis
Seafood Norway’s Deputy CEO Trond Davidsen considers it quite unlikely that the Dutch will join other EU countries in a trade dispute due to disagreements over fishing for mackerel.

“Then one can ask on what legal basis one should implement this on? We are talking about civilized nations, just because there is disagreement in the mackerel management,” Davidsen points out.