North Sea and Skagerrak sandeel: Commission authorises increase in catches
Today, the Commission has adopted a Regulation to modify the 2010 fishing possibilities for sandeel in the North Sea and Skagerrak.
In January a preliminary TAC (total allowable catch) of 200,000 tonnes was set for the EU fleet. However, in the light of a recent experimental fishery, scientists have advised the Commission that the North Sea TAC can be raised to 400,000 tonnes. Sandeel is a short-lived species, so the appropriate TAC level is highly dependent on the number of young fish entering the fishery each season. The EU and Norway share the North Sea stock of sandeel. The EU claims a 90% share of the North Sea TAC, or 360,000 tonnes. A further 16,920 tonnes of sandeel can be fished from the EU waters of the Skagerrak, representing the long-term average proportion of the total catches taken in this area.
During negotiations with Norway it was agreed that, in the event of a significant increase in the TAC for sandeel, the amount allocated to Norway from the EU's share of the TAC should be increased from 20,000 tonnes to 27,500 tonnes. In return, EU fishermen would be allowed to fish for other species in Norwegian waters. A further 2,500 tonnes from the EU's share has been allocated to the Faroe Islands.