ICES has issued recommendations for the total allowable catch of key pelagic stocks in the NE Atlantic for 2024
The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has issued its recommendations for the total allowable catch of key pelagic socks in 2024.
The quota recommendation for blue whiting is 13 percent higher compared to the recommendation for 2023. ICES advises that the blue whiting catches in 2024 should not exceed 1,529,754 tonnes. This is the highest blue whiting quota recommendation ever given.
However, blue whiting is also being caught more than recommended. The recommendation is nine percent lower than the expected catches in 2023.
Norwegian Spring-Spawning Herring (NVG Herring)
ICES recommends a quota of up to 390,010 tonnes for Norwegian spring-spawning herring (NVG-sild). This represents a 24 percent decrease compared to the 2023 recommendation.
While management strategy usually limits the decrease in quota recommendations to 20 percent, this limitation is lifted if the stock is expected to fall below the threshold during the quota year. This is the case for NVG-herring.
Researchers have calculated that the spawning stock will fall below the precautionary threshold in 2024, approaching the lowest spawning stock that can still produce solid year-classes. Therefore, the recommendation is to significantly reduce catches, with the 2024 quota recommendation being 44 percent lower than expected catches in 2023.
The quota recommendation for mackerel is 739,386 tonnes, which is 5 percent lower than the 2023 recommendation and 36 percent lower than the expected catches in 2023.
Mackerel’s situation is better than herring, but the stock assessment for mackerel shows that the spawning stock has decreased by 2.7 million tonnes from a historic peak in 2015 to 2023, despite good recruitment.
Western Horse Mackerel
For western horse mackerel North East Atlantic), researchers recommend zero catches, as was the case last year.
For horse mackerel in the (Skagerrak and Kattegat, Southern and central North Sea, Eastern English Channel), ICES advises a total allowable catch of no more that 9700 tonnes in each of the years 2024 and 2025.