Norway’s Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Bjørnar Skjæran has announced a 278,222 tonne mackerel quota for the Norwegian fleet this year, a 7% reduction on last year’s allocation.
‘In the absence of a coastal states agreement, I have set a national quota for 2022 which corresponds to 35% of the recommended total catch. This quota is based on assessments of the mackerel’s real zone affiliation to the waters under Norwegian jurisdiction – how much of the mackerel is present in Norwegian waters,’ he said, stating that as mackerel has demonstrated a northeasterly distribution shift in recent years, there is more mackerel is in Norwegian waters compared with 2014 when the previous mackerel agreement was entered into.
‘It is unfortunate that the coastal states have not yet agreed on an agreement on the distribution of the mackerel stock,’ he said, commenting that negotiations between Norway, the United Kingdom, the EU, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland on a new distribution key will continue, with a view to reaching a solution for 2023 and beyond.
‘We must put history and old agreements behind us. All the coastal states have a common interest in reaching a distribution agreement, so that we can achieve optimal management of this important stock,’ Bjørnar Skjæran said.