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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement15 December 2022Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Sustainable fisheries: EU reaches agreement with north-east Atlantic coastal states, as well as with UK and Norway on the shared management of key stocks in 2023

Herring - fresh catch © Iraidka / Adobe Stock
Herring - fresh catch © Iraidka / Adobe Stock

The EU has concluded consultations with the north-east Atlantic coastal states and trilateral consultations with the United Kingdom and Norway on the joint management of shared fish stocks in 2023.

These deals will contribute to the sustainable management of the stocks, as well as secure the fishing opportunities for EU vessels. They set catch limits, known as total allowable catches (TACs), at levels in line with the best available scientific advice.

The agreement with coastal states covers the joint management of mackerel, blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring stocks.

  • For mackerel, the TAC for 2023 was set at 782,066 tonnes (-2% on 2022 TAC), in line with the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) approach advised by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).
  • For blue whiting, the TAC has been set at 1,359,629 tonnes (+81% on 2022 TAC) and for Atlanto-Scandian herring at 511,171 tonnes (-15% on 2022 TAC). Both TACs are in line with the ICES advice, in accord with the long-term management strategy (LTMS) approach.

All parties recognised the need to reach a consensus on quota-sharing arrangements for all three stocks as soon as possible.

As part of the agreement, the EU, Norway, the Faroe Islands, the United Kingdom, and, for the first time, Iceland and Greenland, also agreed to set the control measures for pelagic stocks no later than 2026. This represents a significant step forward towards creating a level playing field for all fleets and improved management of joint stocks in the North-East Atlantic.

The EU has also reached an agreement with the United Kingdom and Norway on the joint trilateral management of six key stocks in the North Sea: cod, haddock, saithe, whiting, plaice and herring. Cumulatively, the agreement provides over 300,000 tonnes of fishing opportunities for EU fleets for these stocks in 2023.

The TACs for cod, herring, plaice and saithe have been set in line with the advised maximum sustainable yield (MSY) level. For haddock and whiting, the agreement shows restraint with an increase of 30% for each TAC.

Bilateral fisheries consultations with Norway and the UK are ongoing.

More information

Agreed records


Publication date
15 December 2022
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries