Exploitation and management of Norwegian spring-spawning herring in the 20th century
reportposted on 2022-03-01, 08:56 authored by R. Toresen, J. Jakobsen
The Norwegian spring-spawning herring is a herring stock with large natural stock size fluctuations. Through the 20th century, the stock reached high abundance levels in the 1930s and 1940s and decreasing levels in the 1950s and 1960s with a stock collapse in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this paper, the history, in terms of exploitation and management of this stock, is described, and the role of ICES in the years when the stock collapsed is emphasized. Through the years when the stock decreased severely and the exploitation reached the highest levels, it was not generally understood by the scientific community that the stock level really was that poor, and there was also uncertainty about the reason for the decreasing trend of the stock at that time. Therefore, regulatory measures were not decided until it was too late, and the stock collapsed. The rebuilding of the stock has been successful following strict advice from ICES and also annual agreements of TACs in international waters.