Faroe Islands and Iceland have announced mackerel quotas for 2021
Both the Faroe Islands and Iceland have announced the quotas they intend to catch for the 2021 mackerel fisheries.
The Faroe Islands have announced they intend to increase their mackerel quota in the same proportion as Norway have set theirs.
Jacob Vestergaard, Minister of Fisheries has announced the Faroese mackerel quota for 2021 will be set at 167,048 tonnes, corresponding to 19.6% of the most licensed catch of 852,284 tonnes, some coastal states agreed on 04 December 2020. This will be an increase from 116,188 tonnes last year.
The Faroe Islands have in this connection decided to raise their share in the same proportion as some in Norway.
Since 2014, the Faroese bait trade has accounted for 12.6% of the most licensed catch compared to the old mackerel trade, some of which ended on 31 December 2020.
Jacob Vestergaard’s hopes and expects that the Faroe Islands to return to the negotiations between the coastal states. The consultations will take place under the Faroese presidency and guidance.
In light of the situation, there is little indication that a solution to the dispute is in sight, but Norway’s decision on a 298,000 tonnes catch has already received considerable criticism.
The Icelandic Government has set the total allowable catch for mackerel in 2021 at 140,627 tonnes.
The authorized mackerel catch of Icelandic vessels will be 140,627 tonnes this year, but Kristján Þór Júlíusson, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, has signed a regulation to that effect. This is 16.5% of the total catch approved by the Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), according to the Government’s website.
No solution has yet been found to the mackerel dispute and it is clear that fishing rights will be issued far in excess of the advice of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), which has proposed that no more than 852,000 tonnes be fished.
Iceland increased its unilateral quota from 107,000 tonnes in 2019 to 152,141 tonnes in 2020. The unilateral quotas caused the MSC to suspend its certification for 2020.
The seven coastal states have now announced what they are intention to fish in 2021, amounting to more than 941,500 tonnes, or almost 90,000 tonnes in excess of advice.
Norway intends to catch 298,000 tonnes, Russia just over 120,000 tonnes, Britain 222,000 tonnes, the European Union 100,000 tonnes, Greenlanders 60,000 tonnes, Iceland at almost 141,000 tonnes, and the Faroe Islands at just over 167,000 tonnes.