Outcome of Coastal States consultation on mackerel, blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring
Coastal States consultations have now concluded with agreement on 2023 catch limits for shared pelagic stocks, including mackerel, blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring.
The agreed records which were signed on 4 November 2022 for Atlanto-Scandian herring and 6 December 2022 for mackerel, blue whiting and control measures, set out Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and management measures for all three stocks of key importance to Scotland’s fishing fleet. The agreed record on control measures for pelagic stocks in the North-East Atlantic, including the stocks above, is to ensure consistency between the Parties on control and enforcement of the stocks.
For all three stocks, the TACs were set in line with advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), equating to the following tonnage and changes compared with the catch limits set for 2022:
- Mackerel 782,066 tonnes (-1.62%)
- Blue whiting 1,359,629 tonnes (+80.62%)
- Atlanto-Scandian herring 511,171 tonnes (-14.60%)
Scotland strongly advocated for the TAC for blue whiting to be set at a more precautionary level and that Parties should support greater stability in the stock going forward, in line with TAC constraint principles. This preference for the UK is stated in the agreed record.
The agreed records also underline the importance of continuing discussions in early 2023 to agree new comprehensive sharing arrangements for these stocks. This remains a key priority for Scotland, and officials will continue to put full energy behind the discussions to ensure the long-term sustainability for the benefit of Scotland into the future.
The Coastal States and Fishing Parties in the North-East Atlantic are the UK, EU, Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Russian Federation.
In line with the UK and Scotland’s overarching approach to this year’s negotiations, including our commitment to sustainable management of stocks and wider political considerations, the UK did not co-sign the same Atlanto-Scandian herring agreed record as the Russian Federation (Russia is a Coastal State for Atlanto-Scandian herring), and instead signed a separate, identical version.