Barents Sea facing big cod and haddock cuts

COD and haddock, the two most popular white fish choices in the UK, look set to become more expensive next year following calls for big cuts in the Barents Sea quotas.
ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, is recommending a 13 per cent reduction in the cod take and a 25 per cent cut in the haddock quota.
The Barents Sea, shared by Norway and Russia, is the world’s largest provider of these two species so major changes of the type being proposed will have reverberations on markets throughout the UK and Europe. Fish buyers and processing companies in the UK are bracing themselves for steep price increases next year.
ICES has recommended a total cod catch by the fleets of Norway and Russia of 674,000 tonnes next year, a reduction of 100,000 tonnes on the 2018 figure. 
The recommendation for haddock is 152,000 tones, down by almost a quarter. The two countries will decide on the final figures later in the year, but they have generally followed the ICES proposals in the past.
ICES has said that the cod stock is generally in good shape and sustainable, but forward projections are showing a decline in the years ahead due to lower recruitment. The state of the haddock stock is not good and action was needed, ICES warned.
Audun Maråk, head of Fiskebat, the Norwegian Fishing Vessel Owners’ Federation, said if the ICES recommendations are followed it will have a big impact on the catching industry, both in terms of earnings and fishing activity. However, he thought there was room for negotiation when it came to deciding  the final figure.