Faroese Fisheries Minister Jacob Vestergaard and his Icelandic counterpart Kristján Thór Júlíusson have agreed terms for 2021 reciprocal fisheries access for blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring.
‘The fisheries treaty between the Faroe Islands and Iceland is important for both parties, and I am satisfied that we have reached an agreement that maintains stability,’ said Faroese Minister of Fisheries Jacob Vestergaard.
The terms of the agreement are largely similar to those of the last two years, with up to 15 Icelandic vessels at a time able to fish in Faroese waters for blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring. The Icelandic pelagic fleet can take up to 1300 tonnes of mackerel as by-catch.
For Iceland the access to blue whiting in Faroese waters is vital, as there has been limited abundance in home waters in recent years.
For the Faroese fleet, the agreement provides access to capelin in Icelandic waters, as well as to Atlanto-Scandian herring which Faroese vessels have increasingly caught in Icelandic waters.
When and if there is a capelin fishery, the Faroese pelagic fleet can take 5% of the TAC for the 2020/21 season, but capped at a 30,000 tonne maximum, subject to restrictions on processing on board.
There is also groundfish access for the Faroese fleet, limited to a 5600 tonne catch. The maximum cod proportion is maintained for 2021 at 2400 tonnes. Due to the poor state of the tusk stock, the Ministers were in agreement that the tusk quota in Icelandic waters for next year should be cut to 400 tonnes from the 650 tonne quota this year.