The 62,000 tonne quota advised for next year’s Barents Sea capelin season is disappointing, according to Audun Maråk, director of Norwegian fishing vessel operators’ federation Fiskebåt.
‘It seems as if the researchers are extra cautious in their quota recommendations,’ he said.
‘Taking into account the surveys that identifies strong capelin year classes, and the smaller cod stock, this recommendation comes as a surprise. An explanation could be that a larger proportion of the capelin population that estimated by researchers is in Russian waters.’
The resource research committee (FUR) has recommended a break in the survey work to estimate the size of the spawning stock, but has tabled options for continuing this work if there is poor coverage of capelin in other surveys. So far no survey has been carried out in Russian waters.
Fiskebåt’s position is that a further spawning stock survey should be carried out this year to gather more data to underpin quota recommendations.
‘There are large year classes of capelin and reduced cod stocks – so it’s difficult to understand the researchers’ quota advice,’ Audun Maråk said, commenting that this should be raised as part of the fisheries negotiations currently in progress with Russia.
Image: Norges Sildesalgslag/Helge Skavlan