Norwegian haddock quota cut; price rise expected

THE PRICE of haddock is expected to rise after cuts to fishing quotas in Norway were confirmed, due to low Barents Sea stock levels.


Imports from Norway make up around 50% of all haddock bought in to Britain, but an agreement to reduce the levels that fisheries can catch next year may lead to a hike in the price of the UK’s third favourite fish.


Haddock prices have already risen by 60% in the past year, and cod is also rising as news of the one million metric ton quota hits the markets.


The quotas for the Barents Sea are agreed by the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission, which meets each year to divide-up the shared stocks in the Barents Sea.


These quotas are set based on advice from The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in order to maintain a stable and sustainable cod and haddock stock, which will ensure a healthy level of fish for years to come.


According to advice from ICES, which stated that the Barents Sea cod stock’s spawning-stock biomass is “now the highest observed” and fishing mortality is “close to its lowest value in the time-series [since 1946]” has allowed the cod quota to remain high, marking Norway’s success in managing the largest and most sustainable cod stock in the world. The continuing abundance of cod in the cold, clear waters of the Barents Sea has contributed to Norway’s status as a world leader in sustainable fisheries management.


Cod is the main predator upon haddock and given the high number of cod in The Barents Sea, it is likely that haddock levels will decrease due to the rules of natural selection.


Jack-Robert Møller, UK Marketing Director for the NSC commented: “We are pleased to have agreed quotas for 2014 which reflect the sustainable approach we take in Norway to managing our fisheries. We expect stocks to fluctuate year on year, so the news that the cod quota will remain high indicates the abundance of cod in our seas.


“UK consumers can rely on Norway for a plentiful supply of this popular fish, which they can enjoy knowing that it comes from a healthy and sustainable source which will be well-managed for years to come.”