Norway’s Institute of Marine Research has recommended a provisional quota of 70,000 tonnes of sandeel in 2018. Following an acoustic survey, a revised recommendation will be made.
The Institute of Marine Research states that the estimated biomass is one of the highest since 2009, with a high density of sandeel in many areas. According to the Institute, exceptionally good recruitment on the 2016 year class has contributed to this currently strong biomass, which also includes a relatively high volume of four-year old animals.
The combination of these older individuals and proportion of the 2016 year class believed to have reached reproductive indicates that the spawning stock is relatively high in areas 1 to 4. According to researchers, however, there is a high level of uncertainty concerning how the stock will develop, including it being a prey species for other fish.
So far no harvest rules have been established for setting sandeel quotas under Norwegian management, but based on the relatively good predictions, the Institute of Marine Research will apply a harvest rule for the first time. This is expected to make sandeel quotas more predictable.