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Commercial Fishing


Norwegian asks for mackerel dispensation

Norwegian fishing organisation Fiskebåt is asking the Directorate of Fisheries to grant a dispensation so that vessels over 15 meters can fish for mackerel within the fjord lines. The reason is that the mackerel is now at full speed northwards, and experience has shown that it will migrate within the fjord lines during July.

Fiskebåt has received several inquiries from the fleet that has already started fishing for mackerel. According to the fleet, good quantities of mackerel have been observed off Vesterålen in recent days. This mackerel is making good speed northwards and will, from experience, migrate within the fjord lines during the month of July. This will make it difficult to access mackerel for vessels with an actual length of more than 15 meters, as a result of statutory restrictions, Fiskebåt writes in a letter to the Directorate of Fisheries.

A statement on their website said: “The mackerel fishery is especially this year as a result of a lack of agreement on zone access after Brexit. This means that the entire quota must be taken in Norwegian waters.

“In order for the fleet to be able to harvest this year’s mackerel quota, it will therefore be crucial that the fishing can be carried out in the areas where the mackerel is located, including within the fjord lines.

“Fiskebåt refers to this issue has previously been discussed between the fisheries organizations and the Directorate of Fisheries at a meeting on 4 June. At the meeting, Fiskebåt perceived that everyone who participated understood that it is important to harvest this year’s mackerel quota, and that in this context it will also be necessary to dispense with the fjord line restriction in fishing for mackerel for vessels over 15 meters.

“As of today, it is the fjords Andfjorden and Gavelfjorden that are relevant, but Fiskebåt asks the Directorate of Fisheries to already now consider opening other relevant fjords.

“Fiskebåt believes that there are no biological reasons for the sake of coastal cod protection not to allow vessels over 15 meters to fish for mackerel within the fjord lines. Large concentrations of mackerel will displace cod, haddock and saithe, and the risk of these species interfering will therefore be small.

“Fiskebåt can also not see that dispensation from the fjord line restrictions will lead to area conflicts. “