The proposal by ICES to recommend a 44% increase in the 2020 North Sea herring quota has been welcomed by Norwegian fishermen’s organisation Fiskebåt.
‘It’s surprising, but positive,’ said Fiskebåt managing director Audun Maråk.
This year’s quota is set at 385,007 tonnes, while the recommendation had been for 291,000 tonnes. Now ICES is recommending that the 2020 quota should not exceed 418,649 tonnes, which is 44% up on the 2019 advice..
According to ICES, the reason for the increase is a re-evaluation of the spawning stock, and that more older herring is caught than had been assumed, although the stock is still showing an overall downward trend due to poor recruitment.
Audun Maråk commented that a better overview of the North Sea herring stock is needed.
‘Fluctuations of minus 60% for the current year and plus 44% for the next year, in combination with poor recruitment means that we have to question ICES’ expertise and methodology in providing advice for North Sea herring,’ he said.
‘Let’s hope that ICES is right and that the fishermen see more herring this year than they did last year.’