Norwegian-Russian Joint Fishery Commission Sets Fishing Quotas

Photo: Ekaterina Denisova / GeoPhoto

Norwegian-Russian Joint Fishery Commission Sets Fishing Quotas

On 11-14 October, the Norwegian-Russian Joint Fishery Commission met online for its 51st session to set 2022 fishing quotas for the Barents and Norwegian Seas. The key points raised during the session are as follows:

— The new quotas for cod and haddock, the main fishing species of the region, are down by as much as 20% as compared to those of 2021. However, they are still on a historically high level, as the 2021 quotas were about 20% higher than in 2020 and 2019 when cod fishing peaked. 

— In 2022, Russia will be authorized to catch 309,600 metric tons of cod, 79,100 tons of haddock, 11,100 tons of halibut and 16,300 tons of redfish.

— The parties decided to lift the ban on capelin fishing introduced three years ago. In 2022, some 70,000 tons of capelin can be legally caught in the Barents Sea, with the Russian share amounting to more than 28,000 tons.

— Russian and Norwegian officials agreed on measures to monitor and enforce fishing in their respective waters, as well as approved a joint program for research to be launched in 2022.

— The two countries also discussed criticism from the EU as regards the Norwegian-Russian fish stock management in the Barents Sea. The EU believes that the two nations are taking decisions that are leading to an unsustainable fishing of the stock, which might affect the Barents Sea region’s ecosystem. In this regard, the Commission made it clear that Russia and Norway have successfully managed the cod stocks, something that well serves the interests of not only Norwegian and Russian catch vessels, but also third-party vessels, including those of the EU countries.

The Commission, founded back in 1975, is an efficient practice-oriented platform contributing to the advancement of Russia-Norway cooperation. The Commission’s objectives are to improve and foster bilateral relations in the field of fishing, determine fishing quotas, develop long-term strategies for fish stock management, coordinate maritime research etc. The Permanent Russian-Norwegian Committee for Management and Enforcement Cooperation within the Fisheries Sector, as well as several working groups have been established under the auspices of the Commission.

Arctic Today is a column by PORA CEO Alexander Stotskiy analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.

Alexander Stotskiy
19 October 2021
Arctic Today