The Ministry of Trade and Fisheries in Norway has set a temporary quota for Northeast Atlantic mackerel of 100,000 tonnes for 2023

The Ministry of Trade and Fisheries in Norway has set a temporary quota for Northeast Atlantic mackerel of 100,000 tonnes for 2023

The Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Fisheries has set a temporary quota for mackerel for 2023 of 100,000 tonnes. The temporary trial scheme with quota cooperation will continue in 2023.

“Pending a clarification of the distribution issue for mackerel, we set a temporary quota at the start of the year, so that we ensure that the part of the fleet that starts fishing early has the opportunity to do so. The final quota will be determined well before the main fishery starts,” says Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bjørnar Skjæran.

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The purse-seine and trawl group are regulated with vessel quotas in the same way as last year. The closed coastal group will be regulated as one group also in 2023, and the ministry draws attention to the fact that the vessel quotas and the maximum quota supplement in the group will be lower than usual due to the temporary low Norwegian quota. When the final Norwegian total quota for 2023 has been set, the Directorate of Fisheries will have a dialogue with the business organisations regarding the degree of over-regulation for the maximum quota supplement. In the open group, the vessel quota is reduced by five tonnes from last year, and amounts to 20 tonnes this year.

In 2022, the reserve in the open group has been overfished. The Directorate of Fisheries points out that catches in open groups have varied from year to year and depended on availability, among other things, and believes that the size of the allocation can be continued, but that the level of the vessel quota must be reduced somewhat in 2023.

Trial arrangements are continued

The trial scheme for quota burden as a result of catching in excess of quota is continued for another year. An overview from the Directorate of Fisheries shows a marked decrease in the number of vessels that have reported catches by over 110 per cent.

“This may indicate that the trial scheme has had a disciplinary effect. At the same time, in recent years there has been an extraordinary quota situation, so we think it makes sense to continue this as a trial scheme so that we get an even better basis for a decision,” says Skjæran.

The trial scheme for the use of seine seine in the mackerel fishery will also be continued in 2023. The Directorate of Fisheries, in consultation with the Institute of Marine Research, will evaluate the trial scheme ahead of the regulation for 2024. The time-limited exemption from the requirement to set locks in the mackerel fishery will be continued.

Temporary quota cooperation arrangement for mackerel is continued for one year 

After an evaluation of the scheme that was introduced in 2022, it has been decided that the scheme will continue for one year.

“We cooperate well with the industry and listen to the fishermen. All the feedback I have received from the fishermen is that this temporary arrangement has worked well. It has been a financial success for the fishermen, and they have saved a lot of bunkers,” says the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The scheme is administered by Norway’s Herring Sales Association (Norges Sildesalgslag), and fishermen are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the conditions for participating in the scheme, and how the scheme works.

Facts about the quota cooperation scheme

The quota cooperation scheme is a co-fishing scheme that comes in addition to the traditional pelagic co-fishing scheme. The quota cooperation scheme is only available to coastal vessels in a closed group that do not have access to the structural quota scheme [1] . Furthermore, the vessel must have an actual length of less than 15 metres to have access to the scheme.

In the quota cooperation scheme, there is a requirement that the vessel that is not fishing must lie passively as long as joint fishing takes place – this is in contrast to the traditional pelagic joint fishing scheme where there is precisely such an activity requirement for both vessels in the joint fishing team.

Quota cooperation arrangements are not being introduced for other types of fish.

[1] This means vessels under 13 metres legal length in coastal seine fishing for mackerel and under 11 metres legal length in fishing for mackerel with nets and lines.

Source: Press Release

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