In order to help the coastal fishery in southern Norway, Norwegian Fisheries Minister, Harald T.Nesvik, has announced a package of measures. All fishing for cod will be prohibited close to shore and from 1 January until 30 April in 14 areas where the cod spawn. Measures also include that any bycatch of cod must be released and an increased seal quota.
“Both professional advice and precautionary considerations indicate that the catch pressure must be reduced and the areas where cod spawns must be protected”, said Fisheries Minister Harald T. Nesvik.
The southern coastal area between Lindesnes and the Swedish west coast is heavily fished and is a popular destination for anglers from the capital city Oslo. This is an area of high population density and recreational fishing accounts for the largest proportion of fishing for cod.
Protecting spawning grounds and reducing pressure from fishing and natural predators is a form of no catch investment that aims to give the cod the best chance of recovery.
Reducing mortality of coastal cod from natural predators means the seal quota has also been increased by 20%, meaning a total of 54 seals can be culled compared to 45 previously.
The policy will be in place for a minimum of three years and enters into force on 15 June 2019.