The Government of Iceland sent a formal letter (demarche) to the UK outlining its position.
Richard Benyon said:
'I have received the demarche presented by the Icelandic Government on their reasons for increasing their mackerel quota and I strongly disagree.
'Iceland was invited to participate in the coastal states meeting group two years ago. Earlier this year Iceland attended negotiations on mackerel with the other countries interested in this fishery. These early negotiations were unsuccessful and no quotas were agreed. Subsequently, Iceland chose to unilaterally award itself an increased quota nearly six times what it had fished in recent years. This is unacceptable behaviour that places a substantial burden on the fishery and could seriously undermine its long term sustainability.
'I urge both Iceland and the Faroe Islands to negotiate to reach a fair and realistic settlement. The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, will be holding meetings with the Faroe Islands and Iceland in the coming days and DEFRA officials will be attending on behalf of the UK to support.'