One of the Spanish vessels fishing in NAFO grounds. (Photo: Lia Russo)
Cod quota 50 pc increase in NAFO waters
Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 01:20 (GMT + 9)
The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) approved a 50 per cent increase for the total allowable catch (TAC) for cod to be in effect in 2013.
The approved increase implies that next year 14,133 tonnes of cod will be allowed to be caught compared with 9,280 tonnes approved for this year.
The Spanish fleet will have a quota of 2,019 tonnes while last year the figure was 1,328 tonnes.
The decision to increase the cod fishery was made after confirming the positive trend in the stock recovery in waters off Newfoundland, Canada.
Based on the scientific report presented by NAFO at the 34th Annual Meeting held last week in St. Petersburg, Russia, a 5 per cent reduction of the Greenland halibut TAC was also decided because of the negative seasons of the past five years.
It is expected that this measure taken by NAFO would ensure the viability of this resource in the long term.
The Greenland halibut overall quota was set at 15,510 tonnes, of which 4,261 tonnes correspond to the Spanish fleet.
Meanwhile, given the redfish stable situation, NAFO members decided to maintain last year’s TAC in 3M Division at 6,000 tonnes, of which 233 tonnes correspond to vessels from Spain.
The same happens in the 3rd Division of the Grand Banks, where the TAC is maintained at 20,000 tonnes, of which 1,771 tonnes are for the Spanish fleet.
Moreover, in the 3LN divisions of the Grand Banks, where Spain has no allocated quota, the TAC is increased from 6,000 to 6,500 tonnes.
Moreover, the TAC of the ray has declined slightly for 2013 and for 2014: 7,000 tonnes, taking into account the scientific advice recommending not to exceed the overall catch level.
In the case of the white hake, a mechanism was approved to authorise the capture of up to 5,000 tonnes while the northern prawn TAC was set at 8,566 tonnes in 3L Division, of which 75 tonnes are for Spain.
For the 3M Division the temporary closure of this fishery remained, agreed in 2011.
Furthermore, it has been decided to keep the rest of moratoriums in place for certain species, such as the cod in the Grand Bannks, plaice, witch flounder and capelin.
The European Commission (EC) welcomed the results achieved in the last NAFO annual meeting, since the TACs were approved for a number of stocks according to scientific advice. In this regard, it has been stressed that the agency paved the way to further improve its yield, particularly through the adoption of measures for the best information and science.
The reactions in Spain were also positive, mainly as to cod.
"We are especially happy because for the first time the scientific criteria have been met and the maximum possible quota has been allocated and the EU defended it really well, as did the Spanish delegation," said Ivan Lopez, Pesquera Ancora manager.
Pesquera Ancora owns 24 per cent of the 2,000 tonnes of cod belonging to the 2013’s quota for Spain.
Meanwhile, for the deputy manager of the Fishing Shipowners’ Cooperative of Port of Vigo (ARVI), Jose Antonio Suarez-Llanos, "it was a light and shade agreement and, of course, the increase in the TAC for cod was one of the negotiation lights," reported Faro de Vigo.
NAFO is composed of the European Union, Canada, US, Cuba, Russia, Norway, Japan, Iceland, Korea, Ukraine, France (St. Pierret et Miquelon) and Denmark (Faroe Islands and Greenland).
- Fisheries sector looking forward to NAFO’s decisions
By Analia Murias