Purse seiner. (Photo: Huginn blog)
Ban lifted on Greenlandic vessels
Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 02:10 (GMT + 9)
Icelandic authorities have lifted a temporary ban that precluded Greenlandic fisheries companies from unloading their mackerel catch from Greenlandic waters in Iceland. Greenland’s Minister of Fisheries Ane Hansen said the decision is welcoming.
“After the dispute surfaced, the ministers talked and I allow myself to state that the conversations have all been on good terms,” the vice minister of Fisheries of Greenland, Jens Lyberth, told Fréttablaðið. “In addition, we can transport catch between ships at sea so we aren’t much dependent on unloading it in Iceland.”
Greenland has a quota of 10,000 tonnes of mackerel that it catches in its territorial waters. National fisheries companies Royal Greenland and Polar Seafood have had to rent fishing vessels from China and Chile to catch this mackerel off Greenland’s east coast on Greenland’s behalf because Iceland was hesitant to assist them, ruv.is reports.
Hansen said Greenland is getting ready for independent mackerel fishing and was going to undertake experimental fishing of the species for at least three seasons.
New fish species -- including mackerel, herring and blue whiting -- have been showing up in greater numbers in Greenlandic waters as a result of climate change and consequent rising ocean temperatures, according to the latest reports of marine biologists, Iceland Review reports.
Accordingly, specialists say this brings new business opportunities for Greenland, but it is important to organise fishing operations properly in collaboration between fishers, fisheries companies, biologists and politicians to take advantage of the shift successfully.
Henrik Leth, chairperson of the Greenlandic fisheries company Polar Seafood, noted that he is not worried about the European Union’s (EU) threats of sanctions due to increased mackerel fishing because, according to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Law of the Sea, Greenland is entitled to a share of the fish stock which has migrated north to the country’s oceanic territories due to warmer ocean temperatures.
By Natalia Real