Russia warned it would retaliate with market restrictions to Icelandic constraints for Russian trawlers
Russia has warned it has strong counter-measures and claims up the sleeve should Iceland realize its threat to suspend entry and service for Russian fishing trawlers in Icelandic ports as soon as the Russian catch of redfish in the Irminger Sea will have exceeded 6 624 tonnes, reports http://www.megafishnet.com/ with reference to Rybatskaya Gazeta.
The figure was set for Russia in the provisional conservation measures of NEAFC but the Russian have disagreed with what they see as too precautionary an approach. In particular, acting director of PINRO fishery research institute Yuri Lepesevich has been quoted as saying that the redfish stocks in the Irminger Sea have been underestimated because the surveys have been conducted with methodical violations, not in full and falling short of the total area. Mr Lepesevich has expressed confidence that the TAC can be increased while the Russian quota can be boosted to 29 000 tonnes (33% of the total in correspondence with the Russian great contribution into the study of this stock). Hence the Russian unilateral quota for 2012 amounts to 29480 tonnes.
Along these lines, Russia has refused to meet with Iceland to discuss the problem in July because the issue should be resolved by scientists within the ICES framework, according to Russia's deputy fishery head Vassili Sokolov.
Regarding counter-measures to possible denial of entry for Russian boats to Icelandic ports, Mr Sokolov has retaliated that Russia is one of the main markets for Icelandic mackerel catches while Iceland herself has set a unilateral mackerel quota to cause displeasure with EU and Norway.
In 2011 Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands proposed the TAC of beaked redfish in the Irminger Sea be reduced to 38000 tonnes to be followed by annual further reductions while the Russian share was crippled to a little more than 20% in the proposal underlying the provisional measures of NEAFC for 2012.
Naturally the Russians are unhappy with what they see as unfair and scientifically unjustified decision being forced on the nation with important contribution into development of the valuable stock.