Significant decrease in mackerel quota

[Foto: Leif Nøttestad]
ICES recommends lower catch quota for the next year. (link)

From the abundance estimations of mackerel, herring and other pelagic fish species, the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has recommended that the quota for fishing mackerel be reduced by about 100 000 tonnes; and over 200 000 tonnes for herring.

Over the past ten years there has been a significant decrease in zooplankton in this region of the Atlantic, which is the primary food source of migrating pelagic fish. It is believed that because of the way in which mackerel feed during their summer migration (passive filter-feeding), they out-compete herring in overlapping regions. This competition ultimately leads to a depletion of resources...yada yada yada.

If fishing continues at the pace it was set for this year, then the scientists at the Institute of Marine Research believe that a collapse in the mackerel and herring stocks is possible. This is another reason why my thesis can be useful for the Ministry of Fisheries in Norway. By further studying the behavior and distribution of mackerel schools will expand our current knowledge of their importance in the Norwegian Sea ecosystem; not only their importance economically (worth billions of euro annually).

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