January 14, 2011 / 11:37 AM / 8 years ago

EU exec tells Iceland it will block mackerel landings

BRUSSELS, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The European Union will block landings of mackerel from Icelandic boats at EU ports without further delay in a dispute over fishing quotas, a European Commission spokesman said on Friday.

The Commission, the executive of the 27-member EU, formally notified the European Economic Area of the action, the final step before enforcing it.

“We have informed the EEA joint committee that we will implement the landing bans without further delay,” Commission spokesman Oliver Drewes told Reuters.

Iceland’s decision to raise its mackerel fishing quotas last year has brought it into a conflict with Britain, Ireland and Norway, threatening the island nation’s bid to join the EU.

The EEA groups the EU’s 27 members with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

It was not immediately clear how the ban would deal with issues such as ships carrying mixed catches or imports of processed fish.

Reporting by Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck, Editing by Rex Merrifield

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