Flemish Cap northern shrimp fishery re-opens
The Flemish Cap northern shrimp fishery, closed since 2011, is to be re-opened. Image: NOAA

Flemish Cap northern shrimp fishery re-opens

Following a nine-year moratorium, the condition of the northern shrimp stock on Flemish Cap is judged to have improved with an increase in biomass over the last five years. As part of the 41st NAFO general meeting last month, agreement was reached to re-open this fishery.

Alongside this decision, taken in line with positive scientific advice, the EU Commission adopted a reduction to the total allowable cod catch, complemented by a request to the Scientific Council to review possible technical measures that could further protect and improve the productivity of the stock in the future.

Due to a decline of the redfish stock in the Flemish Cap, the Commission agreed to proposals for a progressive decrease in catches by setting lower TACs for 2020 and 2021. The comprehensive management strategy for Divisions 2+3KLMNO Greenland halibut, adopted in 2017, will continue to inform sustainable management decisions for this NAFO stock.

The attending parties also agreed on control and enforcement measures, with seven proposals tabled by the EU being adopted. A major step forward is the creation of a dedicated website for all sea and port inspectors, allowing them to easily exchange information and design efficient inspection strategies for better fisheries control.

Stéphane Artano (France in respect of St. Pierre et Miquelon) was re-elected as NAFO President, and Temur Tairov (Russian Federation) was re-elected as Vice-Chair of the NAFO Commission for an additional two-year term.