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The quota recommendations for pelagic stocks in 2023 was “Expected advice”, says the leader of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association, Kåre Heggebø

The quota recommendations for herring and mackerel have been presented and a slight downward adjustment of mackerel from this year’s quota and a 15 percent reduction in herring for 2023 is recommended. – Expected advice, says the leader of Fiskarlaget (Norwegian Fishermen’s Association)

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) recommends a total herring catch of 511,171 tonnes in 2023. The recommendation is in accordance with the adopted management plan. This is a decrease from this year’s agreed quota of 15 per cent.

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As regards mackerel, the quota recommendation is stable, with a proposed reduction of two per cent and with a total quota of just over 782,000 tonnes.

For horse mackerel, the researchers advise zero catch in 2023. For 2022, a maximum catch of 71,138 tonnes is recommended. The total quota for blue whiting is proposed to be 1,359,629 tonnes in 2023.

“The advice for the large pelagic stocks is mainly as expected, says the head of the Fishermen’s Association Kåre Heggebø. “In terms of volume, the increase in blue whiting by the Council is of course significant, even if this fishery fluctuates from year to year,” he says.

The marine scientists collaborate through ICES to assess the stocks and to give quota advice for the joint stocks in the Northeast Atlantic. The authorities then determine the quotas. This is normally done in negotiations between the coastal states.

In recent years, no agreement has been reached on quota distribution and mutual access for NVG herring, mackerel and blue whiting which has led to Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland to unilaterally setting their own quotas, much to the criticism of EU Member States and other stakeholders.

“The negotiation situation for both NVG herring, mackerel and blue whiting is challenging, but we hope that during the autumn negotiations the coastal states can take constructive steps in the direction of reconciled agreements that include both distribution and zone access,” says Kåre Heggebø.

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Pelagic advice was as expected says Norwegian Fishermen’s Association leader

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