EU worries about unsustainable cod fishing by Norway and Russia around Svalbard
The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) sounded the alarm by announcing that stocks of polar cod, also known as polar cod, have deteriorated at a much faster rate than expected. To avoid further endangering polar cod, scientists suggest that the Arctic cod fishery should decline by at least 43% by 2022, the European Council said in a statement.
However, contrary to recommendations, Norway and Russia are taking decisions that lead to unsustainable fishing of the stock, says the European Commission.
The two countries plan to cut Arctic cod fishing by just 20% within the same time frame, more than 50% below scientific advice, according to EU states. The countries have thus jointly deviated from the principle of maximum sustainable yield (MSY), which indicates the highest possible annual catch of fish that can be maintained over time, without seeking cooperation with other relevant stakeholders.
To make matters worse, between 2017 and 2020 Norway and Russia ignored their own fishing limits set in their bilateral management plan by permanently setting higher fishing quotas, the European Commission said.
These recent events have led EU fishermen to denounce their discriminatory treatment as they believe their rights are being ignored by Norway, which allows domestic and Russian fishermen to fish a much larger part of the Arctic cod stock.
Contrary to Norway’s lack of recent attempts to improve sustainable fishing, the European Union (EU) says it is committed to sustainable fishing in all waters where its vessels operate. As part of its sustainable agenda, the EU has established management plans (MAPs) for its fisheries in all of its northern waters and has attempted to engage all non-EU countries concerned to join in the management. sustainable fisheries.
The bifurcated fisheries policies of Norway and the EU have led the EU to formally ask Norway and Russia to change the course of their fisheries policies. In an article published last week, the EU called on Norway and Russia to cooperate (alongside all other parties concerned) towards the ultimate goal of agreeing on sustainable and equitable management of Arctic cod.
This is not the first time that Norway has landed in hot water due to its unsustainable fishing policies. In late July, tensions between the EU and Norway escalated when it was reported that the Norwegian fleet had caught 80 percent of its quota in the Svalbard area, reported the Fishing Daily. . The EU warned that the Norwegian intervention would face hostile reactions.
This came after the EU had granted itself the quota of 28,431 tonnes of cod in the Svalbard Sea area, which Norway saw as a neglect of its sovereign rights under the law of the sea. .