Stock status and setting of quotas for North East Arctic haddock
ICES classifies the stock as having full reproductive capacity and being harvested sustainably.The observed recruitment of North-East Arctic haddock is good, but the stock is expected to be redused in the next years. For 2013 the quota was set to 200 000 tons. The Norwegian quota is 95 854 tons.
Management technical regulations of the fishery
A management plan has been agreed by the Joint Norwegian Russian Fishery Commission and has been in force since 2004. It was modified in 2007 from a three-year rule to a one-year rule on the basis of the HCR evaluation conducted by ICES. ICES have evaluated the modified management plan and conclude that it is in accordance with the precautionary principle. The management plan gives opportunities of changing the quotas +/- 25 per cent per year. This includes all landings and therefore the TAC must also account for unreported landings.
In the past, sporadically strong year-classes have caused wide fluctuations in stock size. In the recent few years, recruitment has been more stable. The fishery for haddock is restricted by quotas, by a minimum catching size, a minimum mesh size in trawls and Danish seine, a maximum by-catch of undersized fish, closure of areas with high density/catches of immature fish and other seasonal and area restrictions. Since January 1997, sorting grids have been mandatory for the trawl fisheries in most of the Barents Sea and Svalbard area. Discarding is prohibited. The minimum catching size of haddock is 40 cm.
Depending on age and season, the main diet of haddock is benthos, krill and small fish like capelin and young herring.
About the fishery
North-East Arctic haddock is distributed in the Sea and along the Norwegian coast. The main spawning grounds are located along the Norwegian coast and between 70°30’ and 73° N along the continental slope.
In years when abundance is low, it is caught as by-catch in the trawl fishery for cod. There is a directed trawl fishery for haddock and a directed and by-catch fishery with conventional gears, mostly long line. The historical annual catch levels since 1950 have varied from 21 thousand tons to 322 thousand tons, with an average of 132 thousand tons. The reported catch in 2011 was 310 thousand tons.
North Sea haddock
ICES classifies the stock as having full reproductive capacity and being harvested sustainably. For 2013 the quota was set to 45 041 tons. The Norwegian quota is 10 359 tons.
A management plan has been agreed by EU and Norway in 2008. ICES have evaluated the plan and conclude that it is can provisionally be accepted as precautionary.
In addition to quota regulations there are regulations aiming at protecting immature fish. In Norwegian waters, minimum catching size is 31 cm, and minimum mesh size in trawl and Danish seine 120 mm. Discarding of commercial species is not allowed. In EU waters, minimum landing size is 30 cm and minimum mesh size 120 mm.
There is no minimum catching size in EU waters. As a result, fishers in EU discard both undersized fish and over quota fish. In the North Sea, haddock is taken as part of a mixed demersal fishery along with cod and whiting. Saithe, ling and blue ling are also caught in this fishery.