The decision by ICES to advice a 42% reduction in mackerel quotas for next year has triggered an angry response from the Norwegian industry. The wider industry is unable to accept that this is a reasonable reduction considering the extent of mackerel distribution across the North Atlantic.
ICES advised a 550,948 mackerel quota for 2018, and now recommends a 318,403 tonne quota for 2019, a 42% cut compared to the 2018 recommendation.
‘This is one situation the industry is not able to accept,’ said Audun Maråk, director of Norwegian fishing vessel owners’ federation Fiskebåt.
‘Coastal states have to demand a new review of methodology behind the quota advice on mackerel. The sharp decline in the spawning stock has not been enough. Until the quality of advice and methodology is verified, coastal states should set quotas based on last year’s advice,’ he said.
A letter from the Norwegian fishing industry to the Institute of Marine Research requests that the Institute reject the entire quota advice for 2019, as the uncertainty contained in it is too great.
ICES bases its recommendations on a reduced spawning stock and falling recruitment since the stock is believed to have peaked in 2011. Fishing pressure has also been above recommended levels for some years.
Other advice is for a reduction in fishing fro blue whiting from 1,387,872 tonnes in 2018 to 1,143,629 tonnes next year, a 24% increase in western horse mackerel to 145,237 tonnes in 2019 and an increase in deep sea redfish to 53,757 tonnes in 2019 and 55,860 tonnes by 2020.