Barents Sea cod quotas lowered by 20% for the third year in a row

Norway and Russia find common interests in cod and other fish stocks. A deal is reached on the 2024 quotas.

By Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer - October 24, 2023
Russian fish-factory vessels, like Ester, is still allowed to make port calls in northern Norway. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

“It’s good that we have got a fisheries agreement with Russia, despite the fact that this year we are also in an extraordinary situation, says Cecilie Myrseth, Norway’s newly appointed Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy.

“The agreement ensures long-term and sustainable marine management in the northern areas, and is fundamental for us to be able to take care of the cod population and the other species in the Barents Sea.”

The Norwegian-Russian Joint Fishery Commission on Saturday agreed that 2024 cod quotas in the Barents- and Norwegian Seas will total 453,427 tons, of which 212,124 tons will be Norway’s share.

This is down 20% from the 2023 quotes, which again was down 20% from the agreed catch in 2022.

Russia and Norway share the biggest part of the quota, with a smaller part given to a few other European Union countries and Iceland, fishing up north in Arctic waters.

All back to 1976, the two countries’ Joint Fishery Commission has set quotas for Barents Sea fishing. Since 1993, the Commission has included exchange of catch data, inspections and other issues related to compliance control.

Russian and Norwegian marine researchers jointly study and set recommendations for the fish stock quotas in the Barents Sea.

With the work and agreements in the joint commission, Norway and Russia have managed to keep the Barents Sea as one of the best sustainable fishing areas in the world’s oceans.

The 2024 agreement also includes a haddock quota of 141,000 tons, as well as 196,000 tons of capelin. That is nearly three times more capelin compared with 2023.

Fishermen will get less halibut next year, with 21,250 tons, down 3,750 tons from this year. The quote is shared 50/50 between Norway and Russia.

Last fall, Norwegian authorities banned Russian-flagged fishing vessels from entering any ports except Tromsø, Båtsfjord and Kirkenes in the north.

Located in Kirkenes, Norway, just a few kilometres from the borders to Russia and Finland, the Barents Observer is dedicated to cross-border journalism in Scandinavia, Russia and the wider Arctic.

As a non-profit stock company that is fully owned by its reporters, its editorial decisions are free of regional, national or private-sector influence. It has been a partner to ABJ and its predecessors since 2016.

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