ICES has announced its 2021 North-Eastern Atlantic quota recommendations for mackerel, Atlanto-Scandian herring, horse mackerel and blue whiting.
The recommendation is for mackerel to be set at 852,284, an 8% reduction on this year’s quota. The stock is regarded as being in a strong condition with consistently good recruitment, even though the advice is for a reduction in catches.
Participating nations failed to agree on 2020 mackerel catch allocations, and quota for this year add up to 1,090,879 tonnes, exceeding the ICES 2020 recommendation for a maximum catch of 922,064 tonnes.
ICES recommends a 24% increase in next year’s Atlanto-Scandian herring, based partly on the strong 2016 year class, the first such since 2004, and predicted to be a key component of the 2021 fishery
This would put the Atlanto-Scandian herring fishery at a 651,033 tonne level. This year’s quotas among individual states add up to 693,915 tonnes in 2020, while the recommendation for this year had been for a 525,594 fishery.
The ICES recommendation for blue whiting is for a 929,292 tonne quota in 2021, a 20% reduction. For 2020 a 1,161,615 tonne quota had been recommended, although this year’s fishery is expected to finish at somewhere close to 1.5 million tonnes.
ICES calculates that the western horse mackerel stock remains at a historically low level. It recommends a 3% reduction and for the fishery to be limited to 81,376 tonnes in 2021.