Dutch to coordinate with other EU members in salmon war

Matthew Wilcox

Dutch intend to use meeting of EU ministers in Luxembourg next week to set course of salmon war against Norway, Iceland and the Faroes. 

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

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

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.

Now, speaking to SalmonBusiness, a spokesperson for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality confirmed the story.

The spokesperson said, “A journalist picked it up (the story) from letter we sent to the parliament here. And I can confirm that in that letter we say we are investigating if it’s possible to do something with the borders with economic traffic.”

“First we have to find a solution, or we have to get together with the other EU members because the Netherlands will not do this alone. Next week, Monday and Tuesday the agriculture ministers are in Luxembourg. There we will discuss this.”

The spokesperson continued, “In the Netherlands, we import a lot of salmon. And we are not saying we are going to have a ban on salmon exports from Norway. But we are investigating – not only the Netherlands, but also some other EU member states and fishery member states – what are the possibilities. So we will first do that in Europe. And then we come back with an answer or maybe some reaction.

Asked whether the ministry worried about the impact on jobs at Dutch processing companies dealing with Norwegian fish, the spokesperson said, “I think whatever you do as a country, you should not overreact. So, first find and check out what are the possibilities. First find check out what are the consequences. Deal with also the other EU member states. And then we’ll come back with an answer. And that’s the process we are following now.”


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