Mackerel agreement reached

25 Nov 2014
A mackerel agreement has been reached for 2015. Credit: Tvabutzku1234/CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

A mackerel agreement has been reached for 2015. Credit: Tvabutzku1234/CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The EU, the Faroe Islands and Norway have reached agreement on North-East Atlantic mackerel TACs for 2015.

The quota sharing for 2015 – of a total of 1,054,000 tonnes – has been agreed at 519,512 tonnes for the EU, 237,250 tonnes for Norway, 132,814 tonnes for the Faroe Islands, and a 15.6% reserve of 164,424 tonnes.

This arrangement follows up on the five-year arrangement between the Parties for mackerel for the period 2014 to 2018 reached in London on 12 March.

The Parties have agreed, due to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) being unable to deliver its advice during 2014, to base the TAC (Total Allowable Catch) for 2015 on the precautionary reference points established at the last benchmarking exercise on the stock in February 2014. The recommendation of a total catch limitation of 1,054,000 tonnes for the mackerel fishery in 2015 in the North-East Atlantic has been confirmed by ICES as both sustainable and precautionary.

The Parties also set aside a Coastal State and NEAFC (North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission) reserve equivalent to 15.6% of the TAC to provide for new adherents to the Arrangement, such as Iceland.

Commissioner Karmenu Vella said, “I very much welcome this agreement on mackerel for 2015. It builds on the framework established last March. The proper management of mackerel resources is vital for our coastal communities, and for our fishing and processing industries in particular. It is our joint responsibility to manage this resource in a sustainable manner. We look forward to the early establishment of a long-term management strategy in line with the ICES advice.”

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said, “We welcome that agreement has been reached at this stage in the negotiating process as it brings stability and certainty for the 2015 fishery. A new long-term management plan is also being worked upon for the mackerel stock and Scottish pelagic fishermen are committed to being closely involved in the development process.”

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