should Chinese vessels catch Greenland mackerel?

Industry representatives are criticising the Greenland government’s decision not to allow Chinese vessels to fish in Greenlandic waters. Henrik Leth, chairman of Polar Seafood and Greenland’s business association (Grønlands Erhverv) says it will be “hard” to reach Greenland’s mackerel quota if Chinese ships are excluded. That could eventually lead to the quota being reduced. Officials point at China’s non-participation in the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) as a reason for the exclusion. This year’s mackerel catch is expected (KNR) to be two thirds of the quota.

China is an important customer for Greenlandic seafood. State-owned fishing company Royal Greenland underwent an inspection (Sermitsiaq) from Chinese food safety authorities last month. Royal Greenland have also been trying to bring Chinese workers to process fish in Greenland for some time. Two years ago I wrote about those efforts, which failed due to local government opposition. A few days ago, the company insisted they need “foreign” workers for cod processing plants.