Iceland has reached an agreement alongside Norway, the EU, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the United Kingdom on the maximum catch for mackerel next year.
The new quota agreement for 2023, which was signed yesterday, December 7, will be set at 782,066 tonnes.
The new limit is 13,000 tonnes less than this year, in accordance with the suggestions made by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).
See also: Iceland Moves to Reduce Marine Bycatch
So far, the national allocation of the quota has not yet been decided between the signatories, despite numerous meetings these years. Iceland currently demands 16.5% of the quota, or 129,000 tonnes.
Negotiations are set to resume in February of next year, and will need to reach an agreement by the end of March, as the fishing season for most nations will begin in the first half of the year.
It is important for the nations to reach an agreement. If they do not, and they individually allocate their catch according to national demand, it is all but certain that the total catch will far exceed scientific recommendations for sustainable levels of fishing in the North Atlantic.
Bjørnar Skjæran, Norwegian Minister of Marine Fisheries, stated with regard to the recent agreement:
“I am very pleased that we have now finally set a total quota for mackerel. This is something we have worked for for a long time and which means a lot for the fishermen, and for sustainable management of this important fish stock. Despite several rounds of negotiations throughout 2022, there has still not been a complete agreement on the issues of distribution of the stocks and management plan for mackerel. We hope that the remaining questions will be resolved at the beginning of next year.”
The agreement can be read here.