Faroese mackerel catch limit set
New Faroese Minister of Fisheries, Jacob Vestergaard, has announced the 2012 total catch limit for mackerel fisheries in Faroese waters. Photo: portal.fo
Faroese Minister of Fisheries, Jacob Vestergaard, has announced a total catch limit for mackerel fisheries in Faroese waters in 2012 of 148,375 tonnes.
He says that this limit is slightly lower than the level set in 2011 in order to take account of the ICES recommendation for a decrease in the total allowable catch in 2012 compared to 2011.
The Ministers says that the total catch level for 2012, which includes quotas exchanged with other Parties in bilateral fisheries agreements, as well as an amount set aside for dedicated scientific research on mackerel in Faroese waters, is “a clear reflection of the status and legitimate interests of the Faroe Islands as a stakeholder in the Northeast Atlantic mackerel stock.”
The decision to set the Faroese mackerel quota for 2012 has been taken after the failure of coastal States to reach an agreement on multilateral management measures for 2012 at their last meeting in Reykjavík on 14-16 February. “Without an agreed measure between the coastal States which exploit this shared resource in the Northeast Atlantic, it is clear that the Faroe Islands have both a right and a duty to set a catch limit for mackerel in waters under Faroese maritime jurisdiction in 2012 in order to ensure that our fisheries operate within a responsible framework for management and control”, said Minister Vestergaard.
The Minister also expressed his disappointment that an agreement on allocation between the four mackerel coastal States, the Faroe Islands, EU, Iceland and Norway, had not yet been reached as a common basis for setting national catch limits. In particular, Mr Vestergaard noted his concern that after several rounds of negotiations in recent months, the EU and Norway still seem unwilling to fully acknowledge the changes in the mackerel distribution and the legitimate interests in, and national dependency of the Faroe Islands on the mackerel stock.
“From the Faroese perspective, the proposals for sharing of the stock put on the table by EU and Norway during the negotiations have been far from equitable,” said Mr Vestergaard.
Minister Vestergaard urged all Coastal States to ensure that subsequent consultations on the sustainable management of the Northeast Atlantic mackerel take a more realistic and forward-looking approach to joint management of this valuable share fisheries resource in 2013 and beyond.
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