Hoping to calm a stormy fishing rights dispute with Canada, the European Union on Thursday rejected diplomatic or economic sanctions.
Ambassadors from the 15 EU countries opted instead for further talks on who should be allowed to catch how many Greenland halibut, or turbot, off Newfoundland.
Canada says turbot stocks are threatened by overfishing, especially by Spain. It temporarily detained one Spanish trawler it accused of fishing illegally and cut the net of another.
"There is a wish on both sides to calm the atmosphere," French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said after meeting his Canadian counterpart, Andre Ouellet, in Paris.
A regional fishing body, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, awarded Canada 60 percent of this year's turbot quota of 27,000 tons, but the EU claims it should get that and more.
Britain, an EU member, sided Thursday with Canada, its former colony.