Norway has allocated their fleet a mackerel quota of over 298,000 tonnes for 2021
The Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry has today set a national mackerel quota of 298,299 tonnes for 2021.
Norway has set its own mackerel quota due to the lack of a coastal state agreement for mackerel.
“It was not possible to get a continuation of the coastal state agreement for mackerel for 2021 after the UK left the EU and became a new independent coastal state. This is highly regrettable because this agreement has been important to ensure sound management, stability and predictability for all parties. Lack of agreement means that Norway must unilaterally set its national mackerel quota,” says Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.
The original coastal state agreement before the United Kingdom left the EU, had been entered into between Norway, the EU and the Faroe Islands and thus included the central coastal states for mackerel.
“From the Norwegian side, however, we will continue to work for a management agreement that covers all coastal states for mackerel. A new round of negotiations on management for 2022 and onwards will start according to plan during the autumn,” says Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.
The Norwegian quota for 2021 corresponds to 35 percent of the recommended total catch. The quota is based on assessments of how much of the mackerel stays in Norwegian waters during a quota year. In recent years, mackerel has shown a clear north-easterly shift in its distribution, which means that more mackerel is now in Norwegian waters than in 2014 when the previous mackerel agreement was entered into.
The Ministry will immediately request the Directorate of Fisheries to make an assessment of adjustments to the regulation scheme for mackerel to the new total quota for 2021.
On the announcement of the quota for 2021, the Norwegian Pelagic Association said, “We are very pleased that the Ministry has taken the input from the seafood industry and set a national mackerel quota for this year, although we would rather see that these issues could have been resolved without going to such steps, says Lena Brungot. Norway’s position has always been to continue the existing agreements, but the UK’s demand for payment for zone access made it absolutely necessary for Norway to take such a step to ensure us a fair share of the total quota. An increase in the quota to 35 per cent of the TAC is completely in line with the recommendations from the Pelagic Association, and is compensation for lack of zone access in the UK zone.
“With such an increase in the quota, it is all the more important that the Norwegian zone affiliation – and thus the ownership – of the mackerel is confirmed through fishing in Norwegian waters. We must also focus on the right raw material quality. The Norwegian industry has worked for many years to provide Norwegian mackerel with a foothold in the highest paying markets in Asia, and now it can be crucial that the raw material delivered is of the right quality so that we maintain this position.
“The Ministry will immediately request the Directorate of Fisheries to make an assessment of adjustments to the zoning scheme for this year. The co-operation with the Directorate of Fisheries has been good in this matter, and we look forward to entering into a dialogue with them so that this year’s mackerel fishing is carried out in a good way.
“This year’s fishing may have several challenges, and the Pelagic Association hopes we can work together to find good solutions when needed for issues such as increased quota flex, increased preparedness when opening fjord lines, seismic and reporting from this year’s ecosystem cruise.”