The Norwegian Pelagic Association has accused their government of a lack of knowledge when it comes to the fishing industry there.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) also recently found fault with the Norwegian government’s fisheries policy with the Storting’s own supervisory body has directed serious criticism at the lack of an impact assessment on changes to the quota system.
One of the OAG’s main findings is that “Established fisheries policy principles have been challenged”.
This means that they have criticised a fisheries policy that has collected the fishing quotas for ever fewer and larger players, while at the same time there is less activity along the coast. The OAG’s findings thus confirm what the Pelagic Association has warned against for a number of years.
The Industry Committee has now presented its recommendation for the quota notification. We are pleased that a joint industry committee has decided to remove some of the more serious proposals, the quota bank and the conversion of structural quotas. But then there was the rest. Usually, the fishing industry is keen to take care of the residual raw material, this time we are not as keen. The members of the government parties and the FrP recommend parts of the quota notification that open the rent for fishing rights to be collected on even fewer hands and coastal communities lose activity and the basis of life.
In a year and a half, five different persons have held the post of Minister of Fisheries. It has been over 10 months since the Minister of Fisheries Nesvik presented the Government’s quota announcement. His party has now left the government. Following the presentation, many, both from the industry and from local communities, have warned of negative consequences for several of the proposals in the report. In the input of the industry committee’s treatment of the report, the political environment has, over the past two months, rightly all focused on dealing with the biggest international crisis in recent times. Then comes what can only be characterized as slaughter from the OAG.
Still, two days later, the industry committee members from the government parties and FrP say yes and amen to the remnants of the quota notification. Korona-busy Storting representatives will be on May 7, just one week after, decide what role fisheries resources will play in local communities along the Norwegian coast in the future. They should do so on the basis of a committee setting where the members agree to remove the main points, and the remnants lack an impact assessment.
The Office of the Auditor General’s report shows that there is generally good profitability in the fishing fleet. It is good. Profitability is necessary. However, the criticism from the Office of the Auditor General responds to the government parties and the FrP that fisheries policy principles must be deviated in order to facilitate further profitability.
The OAG also seriously criticises the lack of impact assessment of changes in the quota system.
The proposal in the quota announcement on the merger of pelagic trawl and purse-seine netters is a good example of a lack of impact assessment and the absence of fisheries policy principles. There is reason to fear that pelagic trawl, despite having good finances, will be eaten by purse-seine netters believed to have even stronger finances. This in turn will result in stronger concentration of fishing rights and a less differentiated fleet. Contrary to fisheries policy principles. And irreversible.
Fisheries policy goes a long way on how the industry, based on the fishery resources, should create activity to deliver on the Marine Resources Act and the Participants Act. A variety of fishing-owned boats provide proximity and shipowners who exercise considerable social responsibility. All the time profitable, and always in line with biology.
Norwegian fisheries management has been built up stone upon stone for decades. The administration and regulations have become, and evolved, at the intersection of political objectives, business interests and, most importantly, the consideration of marine life. We must further develop fisheries management so that we stay within the fisheries policy objectives of a fishery-owned fleet that contributes to employment and settlement along the coast.
The Pelagic Association believes that Norwegian fisheries policy and the future of the coast are too important for it to be adopted on a lack of an established basis and in the shadow of the most radical measures Norway has taken in peacetime.
It is now up to the Storting to answer whether they think it is okay to give in to fisheries policy principles, in order to achieve further profitability.
Source: Norwegian Pelagic Association