The recommendation by ICES for a substantial reduction in next year’s Atlanto-Scandian herring quota – from down 24% to 310,000 tonnes from this year’s agreed 511,171-tonne TAC – is already a serious concern.
‘I’m worried about the herring,’ said Kåre Heggebø, head of Norwegian industry body Norges Fiskarlag, commenting that there are no signs of new strong year classes. In addition to this, catch levels exceedthe scientific advice, which is due to a lack of coastal state agreements.
‘All parties should now show responsibility to make efforts to keep the fishing pressure within the quota advice,’ Kåre Heggebø said.
Commenting on the advice for mackerel – with a recommendation for a 5% reduction in 2024 – he echoed Fiskebåt researcher Gjert Dingsør, who has stated that it is unfortunate for trust in the advice that the mackerel stock is adjusted up year after year.
‘Cod is a bright spot. The stock appears to be in a stable state, based on the very strong 2021 and 2022 year classes, where the 2021 year class has received a significant upward adjustment, compared to last year’s assessment,’ Kåre Heggebø said.