The Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) conflict in the Northeast Atlantic: The Icelandic perspective
AuthorElfarsdóttir, Kolbrún María
The Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) has been the centre of attention in an ongoing conflict regarding management and allocation of quota since the distribution of the species changed and expanded to new areas. These changes in distribution have been linked to higher sea temperature, increasing stock size and changes in feeding opportunities. In this thesis a closer look is taken on the international negotiations between the coastal states regarding the mackerel and within the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) with particular emphasis on understanding the position of Iceland. The international legal framework in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and UN Fish Stock Agreement (UNFSA) provided information on the considerations that need to be taken into account in the negotiations. The Tragedy of the Commons and the Two-level Game theory provided a perspective in the negotiations with special focus on the Icelandic perspective. The research was looking to answer these three research questions: - What is the biological and legal context of the mackerel conflict in the Northeast Atlantic? - What criteria (zonal attachment, historic fishery, economical dependency and etc.) of allocation are discussed in the negotiations or how are they valued within the North- East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) and the coastal state discussions? - What is the Icelandic perspective regarding criteria of allocation, how did it evolve this way and why? Documents were collected in order to try to answer the research questions, but interviews were also conducted with respondents from Iceland, to provide a better understanding of the Icelandic perspective. The main findings of this thesis are that Iceland has strong, influential interest groups that seem to put constraints on the international negotiations. At this time, it also seems more beneficial for Iceland to be outside of the agreement as the entire gains form the fishery falls on Iceland, while the costs, as a reduced stock, is shared among all the coastal states involved in the mackerel fishery. Key - words: Atlantic mackerel, legal framework, political science, international negotiations, NEAFC, Iceland.
PublisherUiT The Arctic University of Norway
UiT Norges arktiske universitet
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Copyright 2020 The Author(s)
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