PROSPECTIVE Northeast Atlantic Ocean mackerel and herring - hook & line, trawl, and purse seine

Primary tabs

Overview

What is a Prospective FIP?
Prospective FIPs intend to meet the requirements for active FIPs within one year. These projects are posted on FisheryProgress to help users identify opportunities to support developing FIPs and prevent the start of duplicate FIPs. Prospective FIPs are not yet demonstrating progress toward sustainability.

There are two fisheries captured within this FIP: the North East Atlantic mackerel fishery, and the Atlanto-Scandian herring (ASH) (also known as the Norwegian spring spawning herring) fishery.

Both fisheries are prosecuted using pelagic (midwater) trawls and purse seines. Coastal vessels also use mechanised handlines.

These fisheries are managed by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC). NEAFC was formed to recommend measures to maintain the rational exploitation of fish stocks in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Most of this area is under the fisheries jurisdiction of NEAFC’s Contracting Parties (Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland (DFG)), the EU, Iceland, Norway and the Russian Federation), but four large areas (including the area around the North Pole) are international waters and constitute the NEAFC Regulatory Area.

The allocation of national quotas is based on allocation keys negotiated in connection with the establishment of the EU Common Fisheries Policy or negotiated in the framework of NEAFC, the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission (JNRFC) or in bilateral agreements between EU (at the time EC) and Norway and the Faroe Islands. Many of these allocations were established when the 200 nm EEZs were established in the late 1970s. These keys are to a large extent based on the coastal states’ fishing records during the period 1971–76 and has subsequently and with only a few amendments been used by the European Union (EU) for the annual allocation of fishing quotas among its Member States. Known as “the relative stability” this is one of the cornerstones of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, CFP.

However, the changing distribution of these stocks has led to demands for a share of the catch by those countries that have little history of it. The parties have not been able to reach a satisfactory agreement on quotas.

All mackerel MSC certificates were suspended in March 2019. The suspension originally took place after ICES advice showed stock (SSB) level below trigger point. After revised ICES advice, showing the stock (SSB) above trigger level, the relevant CABs nevertheless concluded:

The outcome of harmonisation during the 2nd surveillance audit is that despite the change in mackerel stock status with the SSB currently above the MSY BTrigger, PI 1.2.2 Harvest Control Rules & Tools score remains < 60 and the fishery still fails, for the following reasons:

  • The current level of exploitation does not provide evidence that the tools used to implement the generally understood HCRs are appropriate and effective in controlling exploitation.
  • There is a continuing dispute over mackerel quota allocation resulting in annual catches well in excess of the advised catches. There is an absence of long-term management strategy for the mackerel agreed by all parties involved in mackerel fisheries. Therefore, it could not be concluded with confidence that the management agency can and will act effectively and in a timely manner to reduce exploitation rate if the point of recruitment impairment is approached.
  • Despite the change in mackerel stock status with the SSB currently above the MSY BTrigger and the improvement in the management of the advised catch, with current and predicted exploitation level together with low recruitment, the stock is nevertheless predicted to continue to decline. Therefore, there is a reason to conclude that such high level of exploitation will lead to a situation where the stock is likely to fall below sustainable level in the foreseeable future.

Therefore, the suspension of the fishery certificate is not lifted

The reinstatement of certification is reliant on the effective adoption and implementation of the HCRs. 

For herring, we are approaching MSC certificate suspension. The latest expedited audit (Aug 2020) reveals that the fisheries require:

  • The fishery needs to demonstrate that the harvest strategy is achieving its objectives and that overall quotas are within sustainable limits.
  • The ongoing allocation dispute needs to be resolved.
  • The fishery should work with the EU, the Pelagic Advisory Council, other certified or suspended UoCs in the fishery and/or other parties as appropriate to support the resolution of the dispute between the Coastal States and to re-establish an effective international cooperation and dispute-resolution mechanism for the fishery.

The timeline for herring is as follows:

  • Monday 30th November 2020 is to be considered by the CABs as the hard deadline for notice of suspension for all fisheries unless there is sufficient evidence that the conditions above can be rescored to pass the MSC Standard at SG80 before that date.
  • Wednesday 30th December 2020 is the effective date for suspension of the above fisheries certificates[1].
  • Monday 1st March 2021 is the hard deadline for clients to provide corrective action plans that show that the PIs can be rescored to pass the MSC Standard at SG802]. If the conditions cannot be closed and PIs rescored at SG80 by that date the CABs will withdraw all the fishery certificates[3].
 

[1] MSC GCR v.2.4.1 § 7.4.3 [CABs shall set the effective date for the fishery certificate suspension 30 days after the CABs’ decision to suspend]

[2] MSC GCR v.2.4.1 § 7.4.3.e [clients shall provide CABs with a corrective action plan for addressing the cause of

[3] MSC GCR v.2.4.1. § 7.4.3.h

 

FIP Description 

There are two fisheries captured within this FIP: the North East Atlantic mackerel fishery, and the Atlanto-Scandian herring (ASH) (also known as the Norwegian spring spawning herring) fishery.

FIP Type 
Prospective
FIP Stage 
Stage 1: FIP Development
Species 
Common Name 
Atlantic Mackerel
Scientific Name
Scomber scombrus
Common Name 
Atlantic Herring
Scientific Name
Clupea harengus
Gear Type 
Hydraulic Hook & Line
Midwater Trawl
Purse Seine-Unassociated
Location
FAO Major Fishing Area
Area 27 (Atlantic, Northeast)
Exclusive Economic Zones
Country 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Country 
Norway
Country 
Iceland
Country 
Faroe Islands (the)
Country 
Greenland
Country 
Russian Federation (the)
Country 
European Union
Country Flag of Vessel 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Country Flag of Vessel 
Norway
Country Flag of Vessel 
Russian Federation (the)
Country Flag of Vessel 
Iceland
Country Flag of Vessel 
Faroe Islands (the)
Country Flag of Vessel 
European Union
Regional Fisheries Management Organization
NEAFC
High Seas Name 
Atlantic Ocean
PrintPDF

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group (NAPA)
Organization Type 
Industry
Primary Contact 
Tom Pickerell
FIP Identification Number The FIP Identification Number is automatically generated by FisheryProgress when a FIP profile is created. While the number itself is not meaningful, they are used by NGOs, academia, and industry to refer to FIPs in a consistent way.
14864
Expiration Date 
February 2022