Allocation of fisheries resources

The point of departure for an individual vessel quota is a TAC (Total Allowable Catch) or total quota that Norway negotiates with other countries on an individual stock. 

When the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has made its recommendations on how much output the individual stocks in the various ecosystems can tolerate, the various countries meet and negotiate a total quota for one species in an area or ecosystem. This is then split between different countries and distributed to groups, areas and vessels in Norway.

The quota recommendations from ICES are usually published in the autumn, and negotiations on the distribution between countries starts soon after so that distribution both nationally and internationally is ready at the turn of the year.

Broad consultation

The Directorate of Fisheries prepares a proposal for detailed regulations based on agreements concluded between Norway and other countries. Then all stakeholders are invited to a meeting, called the Regulating meeting at which the proposal from the Directorate is discussed. The meeting primarily involves representatives of the fishing industry such as Norwegian Fishermen's Association, the Norwegian Coastal Fishermen's Association and the Norwegian Seafood Federation. In addition, nature conservation interests are represented together with the Sami Parliament and representatives of recreational fishermen.

Input from the Regulating meeting is submitted to the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs together with the Fisheries Director's proposal, and it is the Ministry that takes the final decision on how the Norwegian quota of each species is distributed between equipment groups, groups of vessels, areas and periods.

More on the Regulating meeting can be found here (in Norwegian).

Written by Olav Lekve.