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Proposals for New Halibut, Monkfish Regulations

Sustainability Halibut Politics +5 more

NORWAY - The fisheries directorate has set down proposals for new measures to regulate fishing for monkfish and halibut. The matter will be dealt with under the Regulation meeting held in Bergen 8 - 9 November 2012.

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"The limited knowledge we have of the two species makes it very difficult to give precise indications of population trends for monkfish and halibut along the Norwegian coast," said the department.

According to population tables, the knowledge base for halibut is not enough to conduct an analytical stock assessment.

Lack of data makes it difficult to evaluate and propose concrete and targeted measures beyond the current regulatory requirements.

The purpose of harmonisation between preservation times for monkfish and halibut has been to reduce the risk that monkfish angler nets have on halibut during its protection period.

Such covert fishing is unfortunate because the mesh size of fishing for monkfish with yarn is 360 millimeters as opposed to fishing for halibut using nets greater than 470 millimeters.

In this context it may be questioned why there is no corresponding harmonisation of protection times south of 62 N, according to the draft proposal.

Ssuggestions for alternative measures for protection periods or areas of conservation in combination with conservation periods have also been requested.

The Fisheries Department also believes it may be appropriate to introduce a requirement for reporting, in order to get a picture of the halibut fishery.

The existing reporting system is already prepared for reporting on operational level but nets and longline vessels are currently exempt from reporting.

By using the electronic reporting system nets could be more efficient.

The department proposes the introduction of reporting by fishing for halibut similar to fishing for monkfish.

The deadline is 9 November 2012.