The Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry has increased the mackerel quota available to their fishing fleet in 2022.
After various exchanges and provisions, the available quota in 2022 will be 281,171 tonnes.
After repeated rounds of negotiations without agreement among the coastal states, the Ministry of Trade and Industry chose to increase the national mackerel quota for 2022.
This is what the ministry writes:
“The situation with a separate national quota setting is the same for 2021, and the industry coped with it in an excellent way. This year, however, we have chosen to distribute all the quota at once. We base our share requirements on scientific zone affiliation analyses, and it is important to determine the regulation already now so that the industry can plan fishing early,” says State Secretary Kristina Hansen.
The increased quota is distributed in accordance with the established quota distribution keys, and the remaining quotas are distributed to the respective vessel groups. In the closed coastal group, over-regulation is increased from 90 per cent to 120 per cent.
“The new scheme with quota cooperation for the coastal group on mackerel will probably have little effect on the quota utilization for the smallest vessels, so the over-regulation is increased to help all groups get their quotas taken up,” claims Hansen.
Earlier in June the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Affairs, Bjørnar Skjæran announced a quota of 278,222 tonnes, a 7% reduction on the 2021 mackerel quota which was initially set at 288,299 tonnes but later increased to 304,648 tonnes following a series of quota exchanges with other countries.
In setting the 2022 quota Minister Skjæran said, “In the absence of a coastal state agreement, I have set a national quota for 2022 which corresponds to 35 percent of the recommended total catch. This quota is based on assessments of the mackerel’s real zone affiliation to the waters under Norwegian jurisdiction – that is, how much of the mackerel resides in Norwegian waters.”
Norway and the Faroe Islands have received harsh criticism from the European Union and various fisheries organisations for unilaterally setting such high quotas for mackerel. Countries and fishing organisations are claiming that both countries are overfishing which could lead to the collapse of the stock, but presently the flood of mackerel in turn is diminishing the market price for the fish and flooding the marketplace with inferior quality fish.