ICES has revised its advice for the mackerel fishery, with a figure more than double its original advice. In the light of its findings, the ICES recommendation goes from 318,000 tonnes to 770,000 tonnes.
The Norwegian authorities had pushed hard for ICES to revisit its mackerel figures, concluding that the size of the stock had been significantly underestimated, and Norwegian vessel operators’ federation Fiskebåt is pleased with the decision to revise advice on the mackerel fishery.
‘The fishermen had always been certain that the ICES stock assessment has not been correct in recent years. So we are not surprised that ICES reconsidered its advice,’ said Fiskebåt’s director Audun Maråk.
The immediate expectation is that the revision of ICES advice will enable the MSC to re-examine its certification of mackerel.
The relevant coastal states are due to meet in London this month and mackerel will be in the agenda, and ahead of this ICES has arranged a workshop in Bremerhaven to discuss management of the mackerel fishery.
According to Audun Maråk, increasing the overall quota will depend on the positions of the various fishing nations, and although the recommended quota is larger than the volume set by the EU, the Faroe Island and Norway, the overall 2019 catch can be expected to be greater than 800,000 tonnes.
‘This is because of the irresponsible and unreasonable behaviour of Iceland and Russia in particular,’ Audun Maråk said.