The management of pelagic stocks in the spotlight
The management of the three main pelagic stocks in the Northeast Atlantic has again come into focus as the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group (NAPA) sent an open letter to politicians responsible for fisheries in the region, demanding concrete actions on the distribution of quotas before the negotiations. should take place next month.
Last year, coastal states agreed on TACs for mackerel, blue whiting and Atlanto-Scandian herring, but were unable to agree on the distribution of these TACs between the states.
According to NAPA, this has been the case for a decade, and this year some states are already allocating quotas even before a new round of talks to negotiate TAC shares.
“At the Coastal States meetings in October 2021, all parties agreed that the total allowable catch for 2022 will be consistent with scientific advice for each stock. We also understand that quota sharing discussions are scheduled to resume in February 2022. NAPA welcomes these early indications of progress, but much work remains to be done to ensure a sustainably managed fishery,” NAPA states in its open letter to fisheries ministers of coastal regions. States concerned.
“Worryingly, we have learned that some coastal states have already set quotas for 2022 for some or all of these fisheries ahead of sharing discussions. How does this lead to sustainable management?
NAPA says setting catch levels above established scientific advice for these stocks year after year poses an unacceptable threat to shared stock fisheries.
“We want to emphasize in the strongest terms that the current situation in the North East Atlantic is ecologically unsustainable. So far, coastal states have proven unable to reach agreements on quota setting, leading to unilateral decisions that have derailed sustainability and stripped these fisheries of their Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certifications. . Plus, your inaction is causing the supply chain to rethink its buying decisions,” NAPA warns in its message to Northeast Atlantic politicians.
“To date, 21 NAPA partners have made public statements outlining the consequences of continued management failure.
NAPA brings together more than fifty global retailers, catering companies and suppliers who aim to use their purchasing power as leverage to persuade coastal states to manage pelagic fisheries on a more cooperative basis. Members come from Japan, Asia and Africa, as well as the EU and the UK.
Nine companies have undertaken to review their supply, five have already declared that they will no longer source their raw material from the fisheries concerned. Four will only source from coastal states acting “responsibly”, and three note the negative trade impacts they would face.
“The solutions are presented in long-term management strategies, based on sound science and designed to ensure responsible, ethical and sustainable seafood for consumers. We want to see coastal states take a leadership position and commit to science-based management,” said a NAPA representative.
“Ahead of next month’s quota sharing discussions, we ask you to work constructively – to prioritize resolving allocation issues to ensure that the overall catch of each stock does not exceed scientific advice. . We ask you to support the dynamics of sustainable pelagic fishing and to ensure that your position during the next discussions on sharing reflects this commitment.