ICES Barents Sea 2021

Fiskebat and the Norwegian Fisheries Association has reacted to the ICES announcement on their Barents Sea 2021 Fisheries Quota advice 

Fiskebat and the Norwegian Fisheries Association have reacted to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) advice for 2021 fishing quotas in the Barents Sea.

The most important whitefish stocks north of 62 degrees, cod, haddock and saithe, are all in good condition and harvested sustainably.

The quota councils for these stocks have an increase of 20, 8 and 15 per cent, respectively, compared to the agreed quota in 2020.

“Despite a difficult market situation, it is undoubtedly positive that the most important white fish stocks north of 62 degrees north, cod, haddock and saithe, are harvested sustainably and with increased quota recommendations. Increased quotas will contribute positively to activity and value creation along the coast,” says Audun Maråk, CEO of Fiskebat.

Fishery team owner Kjell Ingebrigtsen responds positively to the sea researchers’ siting quotas for 2021.

“Yes, this is positive and provides the opportunity to create great value also next year, both at sea and on land,” he says.

He also points out that it is still so that the final quota will only be determined after the negotiations in the Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission’s mix have ended this fall.

Below you can read Fiskebat’s resource researcher Gjert Dingsør’s comments to the quota council.

 

Quota advice from ICES

The ICES has provided advice for populations in the Barents Sea. The most important whitefish stocks north of 62 degrees, cod, haddock and saithe, are all in good condition and harvested sustainably. The quota councils for these stocks have increased by 20, 8 and 15 per cent, respectively, compared to the agreed quota in 2020. Despite a somewhat difficult market situation this year, there are positive prospects for whitefish.

Due to Covid-19, all counseling sessions have been conducted online. ICES has relatively long experience with such online meetings, but to limit discussions that can be difficult online, ICES has determined that most of the quota councils in 2020 will be given as shortened advice with the least possible text. In the Barents Sea, only haddock comes with the usual explanatory advice, since this stock underwent a method revision last winter, where the model was changed.

 

Northeast Arctic Cod

In accordance with the adopted Norwegian-Russian harvesting rule, ICES recommends a total catch of up to 885 600 tonnes, limited by the stability rule which allows a maximum of + 20% change from the agreed quota in 2020. The increase in the quota council is due to an increase in the stock. The stock is in good condition and is harvested sustainably. The current stock model has proved to be unstable and it is therefore decided that the stock will undergo a method revision in 2021. 

 

Northeast Arctic Haddock

According to the adopted Norwegian-Russian management plan, ICES recommends a total catch of up to 232,537 tonnes, up 8.2% from the agreed quota. The 2016 and 2017 year classes are relatively strong and it is expected that the spawning biomass will increase slightly in the coming year. The stock is in good condition and is harvested sustainably.

The stock underwent a method revision this winter and some important improvements were made to the stock model. This has not affected the level of last year’s stock estimate in any way, but hopefully the model will be more stable than it has been after the previous method revision. In the previous model, probably some trips had a little too much influence on the result, varying peak results thus led to instability in the model.

 

Northeast Arctic Saithe

In accordance with the adopted Norwegian management plan, ICES recommends a total catch of up to 197 779 tonnes in 2020, up 15% from the agreed quota in 2020 and limited by the stability rule in the management plan. The stock is in good condition and is harvested sustainably. The Council for 2021 is higher than the quota in 2020 due to a relatively low fishing pressure.

 

Greenland Halibut

ICES reiterates the Council last year and, according to previous considerations, recommends that the catch should not exceed 23,000 tonnes in 2021. The stock is considered to be in good condition, but is in a declining trend with increasing fish mortality. For this stock a new reference point for fishing press (Fpa or Fmsy) was to be calculated, but due to covid-19 this work was postponed and the spring’s advice was repeated without changes.

 

Normal hours

ICES recommends, according to the precautionary approach, zero catch for both 2021 and 2022. By-catch has gone up as a result of increased fishing on snail lids, it is uncertain whether the catches of the common redfish are real or due to the misreporting of species. The stock is taxed too high and the spawning biomass is below critical level.

 

Red Bream

According to the precautionary approach, ICES recommends a total catch of up to 66 158 tonnes in 2021 and 67 210 tonnes in 2022. The stock is in good condition and is harvested sustainably.

 

Coastal Cod

Based on the reconstruction plan, ICES recommends that if the spawning stock index in the 2020 fall cruise (results available in early December) is lower than the 2019 index, fisheries regulations should aim for a reduction of fish mortality by at least 75 percent relative to fish mortality in 2009. If If the fishing index is higher than in 2019, the fisheries regulations shall aim for a reduction of fish mortality in 2020 of at least 60 per cent relative to fish mortality in 2009. 

ICES also recommends that a new coastal cod rebuilding plan be drafted since the rebuilding plan has had little effect on fishing pressure, which in 2019 is estimated to be higher than in the reference year 2009. The crude index is slightly better in the last two years, but still low. ICES has decided that the stock will undergo a method revision in 2021.

Source: Fiskebat & the Norwegian Fisheries Association

 

Norwegian reaction to ICES Advice for 2021 Quotas for the Barents Sea 

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