Meeting in London over the past two weeks, delegations of the European Union, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Russian Federation, reached an agreement on the management measures for mackerel, blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring for 2020. All three stocks have a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) set at the recommended scientific advice.
Regarding mackerel, the three coastal states parties to the sharing arrangement (EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands) have agreed to set the TAC for 2020 at 922,064 tonnes. This TAC is in line with the scientific advice received from the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES). It corresponds to the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) approach - i.e the largest catch that can be taken from the stock while maintaining its size. The TAC set for 2020 represents a 41% increase compared to the TAC set in 2019. The three parties have reiterated their strong concerns about the increase of unilateral quotas set particularly by Iceland, but also Greenland and the Russian Federation in 2019 and its impact on the stock. Parties have however reaffirmed their readiness to continue the negotiation of a comprehensive sharing agreement with all coastal and fishing states, in the future.
Regarding blue whiting, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and the European Union agreed to set the TAC for 2020 at 1,161,615 tonnes. This TAC is in line with MSY and long-term management strategy approaches, and corresponds to an increase of approximately 2% compared to the TAC set for 2019.
Regarding Atlanto-scandian herring, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, the Russian Federation, and the European Union agreed to set the TAC for 2020 at 525,594 tonnes. This TAC is in line with the long-term management strategy adopted last year, which is more conservative than compared to the MSY approach. It corresponds to a decrease of approximately 11% compared to the TAC set for 2019.
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