While the measure applying to the Faroe Islands is a mere rollover of the previous zero-catches measures, the agreement on a new regulatory measure for West Greenland is particularly significant. In fact, it addresses several shortcomings in terms of control and monitoring of the catches and sets an annual Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of 30 tonnes for the period 2018-2020. Under the previous regulatory measure in place since 2015, no agreement could be reached on the TAC and Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland) had autonomously declared an annual quota of 45 tonnes. The new agreement illustrates a renewed willingness of all Parties to improve cooperation towards the conservation of the salmon stocks and represents an important step to protect the especially endangered southern populations.
NASCO Parties agreed to schedule activities towards the adoption of a new cycle of reporting on the implementation of the agreements. This is very important to ensure transparency and the accountability of the Parties in the application of the conservation measures in fisheries management, habitat protection and restoration, and aquaculture activities.
NASCO also held a special session to take stock of the ongoing preparation of the International Year of Salmon (IYS) in 2019. IYS is an initiative co-sponsored by NASCO and the North Pacific Anadromous Fisheries Commission (NPAFC) to create a hemispheric partnership to raise awareness about the challenges and threats facing salmon populations, to stimulate research and to forge concrete action. In late October 2018, North-Atlantic and North-Pacific ministers will participate in the official launch of the initiative.