The Norwegian snow crab quota for 2023 will be 7,790 tonnes

The Norwegian snow crab quota for 2023 will be 7,790 tonnes

The Ministry of Trade and Fisheries has set a total quota of 7,790 tonnes of snow crab for catching on the Norwegian continental shelf in 2023.

This involves an increase of 1,065 tonnes from 2022, and is in line with advice from the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research. The government introduced quota flexibility in the catch from 2022, and 673 tonnes will thus be deducted from the total quota. It has also been decided to set aside 62 tonnes of the total quota for research purposes in 2023.

 “We are gaining more and more knowledge about snow crabs. In the last five years, research expeditions and tool trials have been carried out. The recommendations on an extension of the conservation period and requirements for the use of degradable thread in the nets will be sent for consultation in early 2023, but any new requirements will not be relevant to introduce until 2024,” says Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bjørnar Skjæran.

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Consultation on conservation period and rot thread

The Institute of Marine Research has recommended extending the protection period by two months. From 1 July – 31 October to 1 July – 31 December. This is to protect the crab during the period when it changes its shell and builds up the degree of meat filling, which in turn will optimize the value of the catches. The Institute of Marine Research has also recommended introducing requirements for the use of degradable thread in the seines to prevent ghost fishing when gear is lost, which can lead to accidental mortality.

Assessment of future catch regulation

The Ministry of Trade and Fisheries asked the Directorate of Fisheries in an order of 16 May 2022 to make a comprehensive assessment of a future regulation of snow crab fishing, with particular emphasis on regulation of participation in the fishing. The Directorate of Fisheries has carried out a thorough assessment with the main emphasis on participation in the catch and on the profitability of the players who have established themselves in the fishery.

Gear conflicts and environmental challenges are also problematic in the directorate’s assessment, and there have been conflicts in the fishing field in particular this year. In addition, it is a big challenge that tares are left, and that the sea is used to store unmarked waste.

“In particular, the environmental challenges and handling of lost and remaining tines, which lead to ghost fishing and gear conflicts, are issues that must be addressed now. The ministry has therefore asked the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries to submit for consultation a requirement for the marking of fishing nets, and that this can be introduced in dialogue with the industry. When it comes to future regulation of participation in catching snow crab, this question will also be sent for consultation in early 2023,” says Skjæran.

Source: Press Release

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