AN agreement has finally been reached between Norway and Russia on how much fish should be caught in the Barents Sea next year.
The cod quota has been set at 901,000 tonnes, down 99,000 tonnes on this year’s figure, but the total does include an additional 42,000 tonnes for inshore cod, which should benefit Norway’s small boat fleet.
Norway’s share of the cod take will be 401,240 tonnes, including an inshore allocation of 21,000 tonnes and a research quota of 7,000 tonnes.
Both countries say the figures they have set themselves are in line with the recommendations from ICES.
Norway’s Fisheries Minister, Elisabeth Aspaker, said: ‘This represents great value for Norway. Cod is obviously important, but it is very gratifying that we now finally have in place an agreement for all species we share with Russia.
‘The agreement ensures sustainable fishing. It is very important for future value creation and shows the value of good resources research.’
The total allowable catch for has been set at 178,500 tonnes for 2015, roughly the same quota that was agreed for 2014.
The Norwegian haddock share will be 88,115 tonnes, including an allocation for research. The total quota for capelin for 2015 is set at 120,000 tonnes.
This is an increase from 2014, which is 65,000 tonnes. Despite obvious differences over Ukraine, which have led to a tit-for-tat export ban on seafood and other foods, the two countries are normally able to agree of fish catch quotas without serious dispute.
The Norwegian Fishing Vessel Owners said the agreement was as expected, but it would have liked to have seen a larger cod catch. However, there were better prospects for next year.