A situation exists under which coastal pelagic vessels in Norway can only fish for North Sea herring using purse seine gear, while the larger pelagic vessels are allowed to use trawls as well.
Fishing vessel operators’ association Fiskebåt is challenging this anomaly in the regulations, which does not appear to have any particular reasoning behind it. The coastal vessels are permitted to use trawl gear to fish for mackerel.
Several of Fiskebåt’s members have raised questions about this and are seeking an amendment to the regulations to rectify what seems to be an oversight.
‘The fact that the industry is raising this issue demonstrates that there is a a desire for more flexibility,’ Fiskebåt has stated in its letter to the Directorate of Fisheries to request that the regulations be amended to rectify this situation, adding that there appears to be no scientific reason why coastal vessels should not use trawl gear to fish for herring in the North Sea.