Norway urges more groundfish stock research –

Norway urges more groundfish stock research Published:  02 July, 2014


NORWAY’s fishing vessel owners have called for increased research into North East Arctic groundfish, suggesting that the situation for haddock, saithe and Greenland Halibut in the region is becoming worrying.

The Federation, known as Fiskebat (Fishing Boat), has taken up the issue in a letter to the Norwegian ministries of industry and fisheries and marine research.

Previous research into pelagic species such as mackerel and herring, using both tagging and ‘swept area’ raids, had already produced some important results, leading to higher quotas and new knowledge about the mackerel stock.

But the vessel owners now point out that there is less focus into groundfish stocks of cod, haddock and saithe in the North East Arctic region.

‘It is important to strengthen research into these stocks without comprising the work on pelagic fish,’ the owners have told their government.

Members were not happy with the manner in which the recent ICES discussions into North East Arctic resources were conducted, saying the situation was ‘unsettling’.

They say the stock assessments at the ICES meeting were approved without objections or challenges and have suggested that the current ICES quality assurances on estimating stocks may not be good enough.

They also argue that the stock situation with haddock in particular, but also other species such as cod and saithe, was now becoming challenging.

However, it is haddock that is presenting the biggest worry. It seems that research into haddock stocks is being given a low priority and this is drawing criticism from Norway’s fishing companies.

They are calling for better and more detailed research and are suggesting that Russia, which shares Barents Sea fishing rights with Norway, should also be invited to participate.

Norway was a standard bearer for responsible fisheries in species such as cod, haddock and herring and it was important to maintain that reputation, said Fiskebat.

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