Tackling the challenges posed by declining fish catches and the changing needs of consumers is crucial to ensuring the sustainability of fisheries and the competitiveness of the European fishing industry, according to Commissioner Sandra Kalniete.

Speaking at the Ninth North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference (NAFMC) in Stykkishhólmur, Iceland, Kalniete said there was a move away from fresh fish as well as from traditional smoked and salted fish products in favour of ready-made meals, something that presents a number of challenges which have to be tackled in co-operation with the European Union's international partners, in particular those from the north Atlantic.

Fisheries ministers and representatives from Canada, the EU, Faeroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and the Russian Federation are taking part in the conference, which is aimed at, among other things, finding ways to increase the value of fisheries products and the interaction between new and traditional products.