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Commercial Fishing

NORTH-EAST ATLANTIC COASTAL STATES REACH AGREEMENT ON BLUE WHITING

North-East Atlantic coastal states reach agreement on blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring quotas for 2021

North-East Atlantic coastal states reach agreement on blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring quotas for 2021

Meeting via video-conference over the past two weeks, delegations of the European Union, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, the Russian Federation and, for the first time, the United Kingdom, reached an agreement on the management measures for blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring in the North East Atlantic for 2021. Both stocks have a total allowable catch (TAC) set at the recommended scientific advice. The delegations also held a first round of consultations on management measures for mackerel for 2021, as well as on monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) measures for pelagic stocks in 2021.

For blue whiting, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, the United Kingdom and the European Union agreed to set the TAC for 2021 at 929,292 tonnes. This TAC is in line with the advice received from the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES), following the long-term management strategy (LTMS) approach and corresponds to a decrease of 20% compared to the TAC set for 2020.

For Atlanto-Scandian herring, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the European Union agreed to set the TAC for 2021 at 651,033 tonnes. This TAC is also in line with the ICES advice following the LTMS approach and corresponds to an increase of 6% compared to the TAC set for 2020.

For mackerel, during the first round of consultations for 2021, negotiating parties, i.e. Norway, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the European Union, discussed the scientific advice on mackerel TAC for 2021, as well as the harvest control rules as assessed by ICES in 2020. Delegations agreed that the scientific advice provided by ICES, which is in line with the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) approach, forms a good basis for setting the TAC for 2021. The delegations also agreed to meet no later than 25 November 2020 to discuss the sharing arrangement and to finalize the agreement on the consultations for 2021.

The participants also agreed to continue discussing the ICES advice on harvest control rules and will strive to reach an agreement on the new long-term management plan for mackerel in early 2021.

Finally, the first round of the consultations on control measures for pelagic stocks for 2021 focused on what coastal states will be in a position to endorse on the package of important control measures currently agreed by the European Union, Norway and the Faroe Islands.

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