Norway sandeel boats have been set a preliminary quota of 110000 tonnes for 2021

Norway sandeel boats have been set a preliminary quota advice of 110000 tonnes for 2021

Three strong year classes plus signs of another good year mean that Norwegian Marine Research Institute recommends a historically high preliminary quota for sandeel in 2021.

Last summer, the sandeel quota was a record 250,000 tonnes. That was after the researchers were able to increase their quota council twice from 70,000 to 110,000 to 250,000 tonnes.

“We are pleased to be able to say that it seems that growth has continued. The sandeel population in the southern parts of the Norwegian zone in the North Sea has probably not been larger since the beginning of the 1990s,” says Espen Johnsen, sandeel manager at HI the Norwegian Marine Research Institute.

The researchers highlighted several years with solid year classes combined with relatively modest hosting which is the reason why that for the high preliminary quota. Also, 2020 was also a year with a lot of zooplankton in the sea which feeds sandeels.

Follow The Fishing Daily

Brian J McMullin Solicitors

The researchers highlighted several years with solid year classes combined with relatively modest hosting which is the reason why that for the high preliminary quota. Also, 2020 was also a year with a lot of zooplankton in the sea which feeds sandeels.

“For the recruitment, ie a lot of new fish that grow-up, 2016 was a good year, 2018 a good year, and 2019 an extremely good year. Now it indicates that 2020 it has also been a good year. But it is still too early to draw any conclusions,” says the researcher.

To get an early signal about how the recruitment has been, the researchers rely on the results of an annual cruise in December. There they look for fry in the sand with a bottom scraper.

This method gives indications rather than clear answers. This is both because the scraping method itself has some uncertainty and in addition, spring is a critical time for the fry. Survival varies from year to year depending on the food supply in the sea.

The preliminary quota council must therefore always be on the cautious side. In May, the researchers update the advice after checking the status of the sandeel with a new, acoustic cruise, writes HI

“What characterizes the special successful Norwegian method for sandeel is that we provide quota advice for sub-areas in the North Sea, or more precisely per sandbank area. The young sandeels are dependent on sand, and stay on “their” bank,” Johnsen explains.

This year again, it is south of the Norwegian zone that things are going well for the little fish. In the northern parts of the AlbjørnLing, Nordgyden – and the entire Vikingbanken furthest north – the population is still critically low.

“We recommend that these fields be kept closed for fishing, as they have been for a long time,” says Johnsen.

Vikingbanken has been closed for 20 years now.

“We simply do not know why these areas do not manage to recover. Maybe there are simply too few sandeels left for them to manage to re-establish themselves,” says Johnsen.

“This is something we want to investigate further,” he concluded.

Source

Norway sets preliminary sandeel advice at 110000 tonnes for 2021

by editor time to read: 6 min
0