Norwegian pelagic boats will only have 145,000 tonnes of sandeel quota for 2021
The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research recommends a total quota of 145,000 tonnes of sandeel for 2021.
This year’s sandeel cruise shows below average recruitment and individual weight, but still much of the older super-year classes. This is what Marine Research writes.
“The population has fallen sharply since the peak year last year, and is now back on a par with the second largest peaks in the history of the sandeel cruise,” summarizes marine scientist Espen Johnsen.
Johnsen is on his way to sea in the last part of the annual acoustics and trawling cruise where the researchers check the status of the sandeel population. The cruise forms the basis for HI’s final quota advice for how much sandeel it is sustainable to fish in the Norwegian economic zone.
HI recommends that subareas 1b, 1c, 2a, 2c, 3a, 3c, 4b be open for fishing in the period 15 April to 23 June.
According to figures from the Herring Association, around 104,000 tonnes of the preliminary quota has now been fished, which was set at 110,000 tonnes. This means that there will be around 36,000 tonnes left after the increase today.
In other words, there are remnants of the very strong 2016 year class and the historic 2019 year class which means that the researchers can recommend jacking up the preliminary quota council of 110,000 tonnes to the final council of 145,000 tonnes.
“The main amounts of sandeel are an advantage in the southern areas of the Norwegian economic zone,” says Espen Johnsen.
Sandeels live partly buried in the sandy bottom, and the population therefore divides into sandbanks in a limited area in the North Sea.
The quota is distributed by area, with fishing in only parts of a quarter of the area. Thus, there are always fish left to sustain the local part of the stock.
This management system has worked to restore the sandeel stock, with the exception of the Viking Bank north of the North Sea. It has been closed to fishing since the 2000s.
By Friday, the researchers will not finish covering Vikingbanken and will return with their findings from there later.
“But our advice is that the area will in any case be closed to fishing until the local spawning stock has recovered,” says Espen Johnsen.