There was no fishery for capelin in the area during 2004-2008 due to poor stock condition, but during 2009-2013 the stock was sufficiently sound to support a quota between 200,000 and 400,000 metric tons. Annual landings of Barents Sea capelin are presented in Figure 4.3.12. Since 1979, the capelin fishery has been regulated through quotas set using a harvest control rule enforced by the Norwegian-Russian Fishery Commission. The harvest control rule is considered by ICES to be in accordance
with the precautionary and ecosystem approaches to fisheries management. Being a forage fish in an ecosystem where two of its predators cod and haddock are presently at high levels, the capelin stock is now under heavy predation pressure. The fishery is restricted to the pre-spawning period (mainly February-March) and the exploitation level is regulated based on a model that incorporates natural mortality, including predation from cod. A minimum landing size of 11cm has been in force since 1979. The management plan’s harvest control rule is designed to ensure that SSB remains above the proposed Blim of 200,000 metric tons (with 95% probability). The TAC for 2014 has been set at 65,000 metric tons.