The Magazine for Buyers, Sellers and Processors
In The Lates Issue of Northern Seafood Issue 3 – 2015
Important fisheries agreement ensures stable deliveries of white fish
Editor-in-Chief: Edmund Mongstad
Norway and Russia have signed a fishing agreement for 2016. This is good news for the entire industry, and especially for the white fish sector. The agreement between the two countries means that there is a quota of 894.000 tons of cod in the Barents Sea. This is a continuation of the existing quota. According to the researchers the population of Norwegian-Arctic cod is still at a historically high level, and it is gratifying that Russia and Norway now agree on a quota that ensures a responsible management of this important cod population. The same responsible attitude applies to the haddock, where the quota for next year was set to 244.000 tons, up 21,000 tons from 2015.
The two countries also agreed on a quota for Greenland halibut, which increases by 1,000 tons to 20,000 tons. The latter quota has been unchanged for several years, and this year the scientists felt that the Greenland halibut can withstand a small quota increase. However, the seafood industry and the fishermen were a little disappointed that it probably will not be any capelin fishing next year. The researchers have found little capelin on expeditions earlier this fall, and they estimate that the total population of this species in the Barents Sea now is under a million tons, and that it is therefore not advisable with any fishing.
This year the advice from ICES (the International Council for sea research) was 6,000 tons, while the quota was still set at 120,000 tons. The big cod population in the area is partly blamed for the reduction of the capelin population. But poor growth, probably as a result of the composition of the plankton, has also been registered.
The fisheries in the Barents Sea are important for both Russia and Norway. It is therefore of vital importance that the two countries work together on managing the resources in this vast ocean area. The quotas that are being set are of great importance to the Norwegian fishing fleet, for the production plants along the long coastline and for the many Norwegian exporters of seafood. An increase or reduction of quotas for key fish species, quickly change the export prices. International buyers of fish from the northern waters keep a close watch on what is going on both in the Norwegian fisheries policy and what is happening with the resources.
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