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Commission welcomes joined EU/Norway initiative on mackerel management

Press release - 27/01/2010

After lengthy consultations over recent months, the European Union and Norway have struck a crucial long-term agreement on mackerel management in the North-East Atlantic, which provides both for stable quota shares and for agreed access arrangements for their respective fleets over a ten-year period.

The mackerel stock is of critical importance to the EU and Norwegian fishing sectors alike, and the agreement thereon is especially significant when viewed against the background of numerous differences of opinion in the past. This agreement also forms an excellent basis for developing comprehensive mackerel management in the North-East Atlantic with other Coastal States, such as the Faroe Islands and Iceland. Furthermore, it will provide stability for the EU fleet in the coming years and boost flexibility in terms of both when and where fishing for this migratory stock can take place.

In addition, the EU and Norway have reached agreement on reciprocal fishing possibilities for 2010, thereby paving the way for an early resumption of the activities interrupted at the end of 2009. The volumes of fishing possibilities foreseen under this arrangement will remain at their 2009 levels and the EU has obtained additional access to cod in North Norway. Quotas for Norway of pelagic species (blue whiting, horse mackerel) in Western Waters have been reduced and a new incentive scheme to encourage a reduction in discards of cod has been introduced. This arrangement also fixes the levels of the TACs for the main stocks in the North Sea, including cod and haddock.

The EU believes that the agreements reached will cement further the already strong cooperative framework between the European Union and Norway in the fisheries sector and that they augur well for the future.

EU/Norway agreement 2010

Species

TACs 2009

TACs 2010

Norway

European Union

Cod

28, 798

33,552

5,704

27,848

Haddock

42,110

35,794

8,073

27,711

Saithe

125,934

107,044

56,613

50,431

Whiting

15,173

12,897

790

12,107

Plaice

55,500

63,825

4,268

59,557

Mackerel

63,826

60,446

39,054

21,392

Herring

171,000

164,300

47,647

116,653