Norway and the United Kingdom have reached an agreement on the management of mackerel for 2023
Norway and the United Kingdom have reached an agreement on the management of mackerel for 2023.
“I am delighted that Norway and the United Kingdom have reached an agreement on the management of mackerel for 2023,” says Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Bjørnar Skjæran.
Mackerel is economically an important stock for Norway, ranking second after cod. Overall, Norway’s quota for 2023 will be 245,688 tons after quota swaps and transfers from 2022.
“The United Kingdom and Norway are the two largest mackerel nations, and this agreement is therefore an important step towards even better management of the mackerel stock and reduced fishing pressure. It would have been nice if we could have reached an agreement that included the other coastal states as well, and I hope that the example set by Norway and the United Kingdom will encourage the other coastal states to follow suit in due course,” says Skjæran.
Negotiations for a new comprehensive allocation for 2024 and beyond will begin in the fall.
The agreement between Norway and the United Kingdom includes, among other things, the size of the national mackerel quotas, transfers of mackerel quotas, and strengthened scientific cooperation. Norway will also have the opportunity to fish 135,141 tonnes of mackerel in the United Kingdom’s zone.
The agreement means that Norway will be allowed to fish 28.8 percent of the the mackerel that is to be distributed this year, after giving 3.15 percent to the UK so that the Norwegian fleet will have access to the UK zone.
Reacting to the news of the agreement Kristian Sandtorv chairman of Pelagisk Forening (the Norwegian Pelagic Fishermen’s Association) said:
“As you know, we have not had an agreement with Great Britain, or the other coastal states, for several years which has meant that we have fished the entire Norwegian mackerel quota in the Norwegian zone. The work on the agreement has been very lengthy and the Pelagisk Forening has participated in the entire process together with the ministry of Ola Christian Olsen. The Pelagic Association is very happy that they have come ashore with an agreement that provides better predictability in this year’s fishing.
“It is better to have a bilateral agreement when not all the coastal states can agree. After the summer, work will continue on an agreement between all the coastal states. It is important for all parties, and for the climate, that all countries agree on a joint agreement.”
Kåre Heggebø, leader of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association was satisfied with the agreement but believes better can be achieved. He said, “Based on an overall assessment, we believe this is an acceptable agreement for Norwegian fishermen.
“We would like to see an agreement put in place that included all the coastal states, but despite persistent efforts over the past year, it has not yet been possible. The agreement between Norway and Great Britain is important in itself and can hopefully also contribute to the conclusion of the negotiations with the other parties.
“In recent years, Norwegian fishermen have demonstrated that there is a lot of mackerel in Norwegian waters and helped to strengthen our negotiating position. The agreement that has now been concluded between Norway and Great Britain provides increased flexibility for the implementation of fishing and can contribute to more energy-efficient fishing for good quality mackerel,” says Kåre Heggebø.
“The Norwegian authorities have gone to great lengths to reach an agreement with Great Britain, and although we would like to see a higher Norwegian share, this is a solution we can support.”