Agree on maximum catches in mackerel

Iceland, along with Norway, the European Union, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the UK, has agreed that the maximum catch in mackerel next year will be 782,066 tonnes and it was signed yesterday. The maximum catch is 13 thousand tonnes fewer than this year and in accordance with the recommendations of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) on maximum catches.

No agreement on the devision of fishing shares between the coastal states is on the table, despite repeated meetings this year, and therefore there is no indication that the fishing will be sustainable as all the states allocate independent quotas based on the share claimed by the states. Iceland requires a 16.5% share of the fishing and it can therefore be estimated that the Icelandic fisheries will be allocated a quota of 129 thousand tons per mackerel season next year.

Meeting again in February

The coastal states will meet again in February and are expected to meet in March at frequent intervals. If the agreement is to apply to the next fishing season, where fishing begins in the first half of next year, they will have to reach a breakthrough agreement. In the event that agreements are not reached and all the states allocate their shares according to their requirements – which they will, in turn, do – the total catch of the fishing vessels of the states is set to be far in excess of the scientific advice as it has been in previous years.

“I am very pleased that we have finally been able to set an overall quota for the mackerel. This is something we have been working on for a long time and is of great importance for the fishermen and for the sustainable use of this important crop,” Norway’s Minister of Fisheries Bjørnar Skjæran stated in a notice on the ministry’s website in reference to the agreement.

“We hope that the remaining issues will be resolved at the beginning of next year. The ministry will nonetheless issue a provisional quota for 2023 so that those who need it can begin their fishing already from the end of the year,” says Skjæran.

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