A MILLION tons of cod - that's the massive Barents Sea quota set by the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission for the Barents Sea for next year.
The decision to increase the quota by 25 per cent follows advice from ICE, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas. Norway's share of this new cod quota is 446,74- metric tons, with the remainder going to Russia. The reason for the increase is simple - the Barents Cod stocks are in excellent shape and Norway is not a country that would damage its second most valuable asset after oil and gas. With plenty of cod on its hands Norway is expected to make an extra exports push into countries like Britain in the New Year.
Norway's Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen said the extra tonnage would create more activity both on sea and on land it should mean extra jobs as well as extra income.
But the haddock quota will be lower next year. Following advice from ICES it has been decided to set a new 2013 quota of 200,000 tons - about 38,000 tons less than this year. The news means that haddock could become more expensive in the shops next year as Iceland has also reduced its haddock catch quota. There is also a similar reduction in capelin catches. In addition, the Greenland halibut quota is being increased from 18,000 tonnes to 19,000 tonnes next year. As part of the agreement some direct fishing rights granted to the Russians for saithe are being reduced. But the Norwegian shrimp quota in the Russian zone goes up from 2,500 tons to 3,500 tons.
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