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EU FISHERIES Commissioner Maria Damanaki and Norway’s Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen today had talks in Bergen and the mackerel row with Faroe and Iceland was “specifically discussed” in advance of the resumption of talks on the issue tomorrow in London.

Also on the agenda were reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy, trade in seafood and management of shared fish stocks.

Commissioner Damanaki is on a visit to Norway to discuss “important common challenges” for Norway and the EU in the field of fisheries and to become better acquainted with the seafood industry and government in Norway. After today's political discussions, she will meet participants in the fishery and aquaculture industry.The Norwegian Minister said:

 “It was very useful to have a direct dialogue on important fisheries and aquaculture policy issues. The Commissioner and I are both concerned that we will jointly work towards producing safe seafood of good quality within sustainable limits as regards both the harvesting of our common resources and aquaculture activities.

“Collaboration also requires a good dialogue about challenging issues, so we have both stressed that we want to find a new long-term solution to the mackerel question.

“To achieve the goal of sustainable production of seafood, it is essential that overcapacity in the fishing fleet is reduced, and Norway has extensive experience with various instruments,” said Berg-Hansen and she added:

“Reform proposals that Damanaki presented this summer signal a new direction for the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy.”

She underlined she fully supported efforts to ensure sustainable fisheries and she was “particularly pleased” with the EU proposal to introduce a ban on discarding fish.

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