The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) has confirmed that the 2014 quota for North East Arctic cod from the Barents Sea will remain at a stable, sustainable level.
At 993,000 tonnes, the joint Russia-Norway cod quota will be just 7,000 tonnes (0.7%) less than the record one million tonne quota set for this year. Norway will own 443,735 tonnes (44.37%) of this shared stock, allowing for a consistent supply of sustainable cod to the UK market.
The North East Arctic haddock quota for 2014 has been cut by 10.75% from 200,000 tonnes in 2013 to 178,500 tonnes next year, with Norway being allocated 88,115 tonnes (49.4%) of the quota. This follows a reduced haddock quota in 2013 and could potentially lead to a price increase.
The quotas for the Barents Sea are agreed by the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission, who meet each year to divide up the shared stocks in the Barents Sea. These quotas are set based on advice from The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in order to maintain a stable and sustainable cod and haddock stock which will ensure a healthy level of fish for years to come.
According to advice from ICES, which stated that the Barents Sea cod stock’s spawning-stock biomass is “now the highest observed” and fishing mortality is “close to its lowest value in the time-series [since 1946]”* has allowed the cod quota to remain high, marking Norway’s success in managing the largest and most sustainable cod stock in the world. The continuing abundance of cod in the cold, clear waters of the Barents Sea has contributed to Norway’s status as a world leader in sustainable fisheries management.
Cod is the main predator upon haddock and given the high number of cod in The Barents Sea, it is likely that haddock levels will decrease due to the rules of natural selection.
Jack-Robert Møller, UK Marketing Director for the NSC commented: “We are pleased to have agreed quotas for 2014 which reflect the sustainable approach we take in Norway to managing our fisheries. We expect stocks to fluctuate year on year, so the news that the cod quota will remain high indicates the abundance of cod in our seas.
“UK consumers can rely on Norway for a plentiful supply of this popular fish, which they can enjoy knowing that it comes from a healthy and sustainable source which will be well-managed for years to come.”
For more information on the Norwegian Seafood Council visit www.seafoodfromnorway.co.uk or follow us on www.facebook.com/seafoodfromnorway and twitter @norwayseafood