Agreement has been reached on the management measures for blue whiting fisheries in the North-East Atlantic for 2021
Norway, the European Union, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and the United Kingdom have reached agreement on the management measures for blue whiting in the North-East Atlantic in 2021
Greenland and the Russian Federation was also represented at the negotiations
The delegations noted that the agreed long-term management strategy for blue whiting dated 27 October 2016 is regarded by ICES as consistent with the precautionary approach (Annex I).
The delegations agreed that the level of total catches of blue whiting in the North-East Atlantic for 2021 should be no more than 929,292 tonnes, based on the long-term management strategy for blue whiting with a 20% constraint on the 2020 TAC as advised by ICES.
The delegations agreed that establishing unilateral quotas for 2021 does not in any way imply acceptance of the level of these quotas by any Party.
The delegations recommended that the NEAFC allowable catches for 2021 would be 73,961 tonnes.
Arrangement for the long-term management of the blue whiting stock
- The Parties agree to implement a long-term management strategy for the fisheries on the Blue Whiting stock, which is consistent with the precautionary approach and the MSY approach, aiming at ensuring harvest rates within safe biological limits.
- For the purpose of this long-term management strategy, in the following text, “TAC” means the sum of the agreed Coastal State quotas and the NEAFC allowable catches.
- As a priority, the long-term strategy shall ensure with high probability that the size of the stock is maintained above Blim.
- In the case that the spawning biomass is forecast to be above or equal to Btrigger (=Bpa) on 1 January of the year for which the TAC is to be set, the TAC shall be fixed to a fishing mortality of FMSY.
- Where the rules in paragraph 4 would lead to a TAC, which deviates by more than 20% below or 25% above the TAC of the preceding year, the Parties shall fix a TAC that is respectively no more than 20% less or 25% more than the TAC of the preceding year.
- The TAC constraint described in paragraph 5 shall not apply if: a. The spawning biomass at 1 January in the year preceding the year for which the TACisto be set is less than Btrigger; or b. The rules in paragraph 4 would lead to a TAC that deviates by more than 40% from the TAC ofthe preceding year.
- In the case that the spawning biomass (SSB) is forecast to be less than the precautionary biomass (Btrigger) on 1 January of the year for which the TAC is to be set, the TAC shall be fixed at a level that is consistent with a fishing mortality given by: Target F = 0.05 +[(SSB-B1im)*(FMSY -0.05) I(Btrigger -Blim)]
- In the case that the spawning biomass is forecast to be less than Blim on 1 January of the year for which the TAC is to be set, the TAC will be fixed corresponding to a fishing mortality F=0.05.
- Each Party may transfer to the following year unutilised quantities of up to 10% of the quota allocated to it. The quantity transferred shall be in addition to the quota allocated to the Party concerned in the following year.
- Each Party may authorise fishing by its vessels of up to 10% beyond the quota allocated. All quantities fished beyond the allocated quota for one year shall be deducted from the Party’s quota allocated for the following year.
- The inter-annual quota flexibility scheme in paragraphs 9 and 10 should be suspended in the year following the TAC year, if the stock is forecast to be under Btrigger at the end of the TAC year.
- The Parties, on the basis of ICES advice, shall review this long-term management strategy at intervals not exceeding five years. The first such review shall take place no later than by December 2021.