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Historical archive

Agreement on Norwegian-Russian quotas for 2008

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs

“We are delighted that the quotas for cod in the Barents Sea will be higher in 2008 than would have been the case if overfishing had continued unchanged. The quota size is a direct result of the reduction in overfishing and shows that efforts to combat illegal fishing are working. This will benefit the law abiding fishermen along the coast,” says Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Helga Pedersen.

“We are delighted that the quotas for cod in the Barents Sea will be higher in 2008 than would have been the case if overfishing had continued unchanged. The quota size is a direct result of the reduction in overfishing and shows that efforts to combat illegal fishing are working.  This will benefit the law abiding fishermen along the coast,” says Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Helga Pedersen.

Results achieved from the collaboration to overcome illegal fishing in the Barents Sea were a central theme during the 36th session of the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission in St. Petersburg this week.

Norway and Russia have set a quota for Norwegian Arctic cod in 2008 at 430,000 tonnes. The quota for coastal cod has been set at 21,000 tonnes. This means that the combined total quota for Norwegian Arctic cod and coastal cod has been set at 451,000 tonnes, an increase of 6,000 tonnes compared to the current year.
“The quota increase for Norwegian fishermen is motivating. Efforts to limit the operational opportunities of those who profit from illegal fishing will continue unabated,” says  Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Pedersen.

The agreement was signed in St. Petersburg on Friday 26th October 2007, following a week-long meeting of the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission. Once again, the determination of quotas for joint stocks has been based on the Fisheries Commission’s exploitation strategy. The purpose of the strategy is to safeguard the sustainable exploitation of stocks and provide a sensible stability in exploitation from year to year by ensuring that quotas do not vary by more than 10% from one year to another.

The total quota for cod is divided between Norway, Russia and third countries in the same proportions as previous years. This provides Norway with a total quota of 202,650 tonnes for next year, including 11,000 tonnes for research and management purposes, making a 3,150 tonne increase compared to 2007. After national allocation of the research portion, Norwegian fishermen will have 195,650 tonnes available in 2008. The corresponding figure for the current year is 192,500, meaning that the entire Norwegian share of the quota increase will come to Norwegian fishermen.

The haddock stock is in good condition, and the total quota has been increased from 150,000 tonnes in the current year to 155,000 tonnes in 2008. The Norwegian quota is 78,500 tonnes after the transfer of quotas from Russia, i.e. 2,450 tonnes more than in 2007. The joint management of haddock stocks has been significantly strengthened this year by the Commission’s adoption of an administrative regulation for haddock which the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea considers to be in line with the precautionary approach.

Norway and Russia agree to manage the king crab separately within their respective fishery zones. During the meeting of the Fisheries Commission, the Russian authorities advised that a Russian quota had been fixed at 3.2 million king crabs. The Norwegian quota will be determined after the Storting has debated Report to the Storting (white paper) No. 40 on king crab management. Joint research on king crabs will still be performed and results will be presented at the Commission meetings.
The capelin stock is subject to large natural fluctuations in size and is still at a low level. It has therefore been decided not to allow any capelin fishing in 2008, in keeping with the agreed exploitation strategy.

The stock situation for deepwater redfish is still at a worrying level. It is therefore out of the question to allow direct fishing of deepwater redfish in 2008.
Norway has allocated secondary catch quotas of 2,000 tonnes of redfish and 15,000 tonnes of saithe to Russia in Norway’s economic zone, up to 5,000 tonnes of which may be taken by direct fishing, in addition to a quota of 2,000 tonnes of wolf fish and 3,000 tonnes of other non-regulated stocks. Norway has also allocated a blue whiting quota of 21,755 tonnes to Russia.

In addition to the transfer of cod and haddock quotas of 6,000 and 4,500 tonnes respectively, Russia has also allocated quotas of 3,000 tonnes of prawns, 1,500 tonnes of wolf fish, 1,000 tonnes of flounder and 500 tonnes of non-regulated stocks to Norway. Norway can catch up to 10,000 adult seal individuals in the Russian zone on the East Ice.

Contact: Secretary General Jørn Krog, mobile +47 00 24 447, Head of Communication Anne-Berit Herstad, mobile +970 81 522