EU, Norway finalize deal on blue whiting, haddock, cod
The European Union and Norway have agreed on a stock-sharing plan that will increase Norway’s access to blue whiting catch in E.U. waters.
The agreement, concluded on 2 December, grants Norway an additional 35,000 metric tons (MT) of blue whiting, or 68 percent of the total quota, allowed west of the British Isles. Norway’s total allowed catch of 110,000 MT is up from 75,000 MT in 2016, and up from its 61 percent share of the total quota this year.
The agreement was criticized by representatives of Scotland’s fishing industry.
“We are extremely disappointed at the outcome for blue whiting as it will disadvantage the Scottish pelagic fleet during the coming year,” Scottish Fishermen’s Federation President Ian Gatt said in a statement.
The agreement will also result in a drop in the total allowable catch for haddock due to an adjustment to accommodate a previous error in the scientific assessment. However, there will be a quota uplift on top of this headline figure so that the fleet can meet the requirements of the landing obligation, according to the SFF.
A small increase in the North Sea cod quota was also agreed upon, signalling the continuing recovery of the stock, the SFF said.
Final decisions on all European fish quotas for 2016 will be made at the European Fish Council meeting in Brussels, beginning on 12 December.