Norway will maintain its Atlantic bluefin tuna quota in 2024

Following negotiations within the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, Norway will be able to fish 386.4 tons of Atlantic bluefin tuna in 2024.
In 2024, Norway will maintain its Atlantic bluefin tuna quota and be able to fish 386.4 tons of Atlantic bluefin tuna.

In 2024, Norway will maintain its Atlantic bluefin tuna quota and be able to fish 386.4 tons of Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Photo: Adobe Stock.

Norway has succeeded in getting the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to approve its plan for fishing Atlantic bluefin tuna. Following negotiations, in 2024, the Nordic country will be able to fish 386.4 tons of Atlantic bluefin tuna, equivalent to last year's quota level. As in 2023, small-scale coastal vessels and purse seine vessels, in addition to one longline vessel, will be permitted to participate in the fishery.

"In recent years, Atlantic bluefin tuna has returned to Norwegian waters and is here to stay," said Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Cecilie Myrseth. "Today's quota level provides increased opportunities for fishing activity and value creation from Atlantic bluefin tuna. We hope that Norwegian fishermen will take advantage of this opportunity so that we can utilize this resource as best as possible in the future," she added.

Of that total quota of 386.4 tons, 15 tons are allocated for bycatch, 10 tons for tagging and release and recreational fishing, and 30 tons for a pilot project on live stocking of Atlantic bluefin tuna. In addition, 3.4 tons are allocated for research.

Recreational fishing for Atlantic bluefin tuna tagging

According to information provided by the Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, purse seine vessels and the longline vessel participating in the fishing will have a vessel quota of 36 tons, and a maximum quota supplement of 15 tons per vessel, with a total group quota of 288 tons.

For its part, small-scale coastal vessels will have a total group quota of 40 tons. In 2024, up to 5 vessels may participate in this group as long as they meet the condition that the vessel is less than 15 meters and fishes inshore with selective gear.

Regarding recreational fishing, as in previous years, it will be facilitated with the objective of tagging Atlantic bluefin tuna before returning them to the sea. "Tagging and release and recreational fishing contribute to mapping the distribution of Atlantic bluefin tuna in Norwegian and international waters. This has provided us with valuable information over several years, and we hope that the activity will continue to contribute to further information and observations about Atlantic bluefin tuna this year," Minister Myrseth stated.

The Ministry has also informed that the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries may amend and revoke the guaranteed quota for purse seiners on August 15, 2024, unless special circumstances justify an earlier date.

Atlantic bluefin tuna live capture and storage

As mentioned, of the more than 386 tons ICCAT has allocated to Norway this year, 30 tons will go to a pilot project on live storage. This is an increase of 12 tons compared to last year when live capture and storage of Atlantic bluefin tuna was achieved for the first time by Norwegian researchers in collaboration with local fishermen.

The purpose of live storage is to facilitate the opportunity to distribute raw materials in the market over time and to improve and preserve the high quality of Atlantic bluefin tuna. This pilot project aims to obtain useful information that will help lay the groundwork for future regulations on live storage.

Finally, the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans has communicated that purse seine vessels will be able to participate in the fishery in the form of a cooperative fishing regime this year. In this type of arrangement, the catch of one, two, or more boats may be registered against the quota of another vessel, within a pre-agreed allocation key.

For vessels to participate in the agreement, each boat must be equipped to fish for Atlantic bluefin tuna, have its own individual quota, and the fishery must comply with applicable regulations. The agreement will be further organized by the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries.

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