The Norwegian government will allow eleven fishing vessels to fish bluefin tuna in 2020
The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has announced a catch allocation of over 300 tonnes for the bluefin tuna fisheries in 2020.
A total of eleven Norwegian vessels will be licenced to catch bluefin tuna in 2020. In addition, it will also be open for recreational fishing, according to the Ministry’s press release.
In the 1950s and 1960s, several hundred boats were involved in bluefin tuna fishing along the Norwegian coast. Overfishing led to a near-extinction of the stock,and led Norway to introduce a ban on fishing for bluefin tuna in 2007. The fishing reopened in 2014 but this time under strict regulations.
With the stock is growing again the Norwegian Directorate has increased the quota significantly in recent years . Norway has had a breakthrough in the international management organisation ICCAT (The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) to allow Norway to fish bluefin tuna fishing with more vessels.
Last year, the fishing was opened to eight vessels. This year, a total of 11 vessels, of which eight ring net vessels and three line vessels, can participate in this fishery. Once the vessels have signed up, a lottery will be conducted among the qualified applicants.
Last year, a limited leisure fishing was opened with the purpose of marking and dropping the fish. Marks are attached to the tuna, and when the fish is re-caught, the information can be read. It will open for an extended leisure fishing on mackerel fishing in 2020.
“There is great interest in this fishery, and the purpose of expanding the activity is also to get valuable information and observations of the mackerel noise along the coast,” says Minister of Fisheries Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.
The Norwegian total quota in 2020 is 311.95 tonnes. Of this, 256 tonnes go to ring nets and 19 tonnes to line vessels. A total of 24.95 tonnes has been allocated for bycatch of bluefin tuna in fishing for other species in 2020. A total of 6 tonnes have been allocated for tag and release and recreational fishing in 2020, and 6 tonnes have been allocated for research on bluefin tuna.
The Norwegian quota may have a potential first-hand value of up to NOK 60 million (€5.5 million) if handled correctly.
Source: Ministry of Trade and Fisheries