North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization | est 1984

West Greenland Salmon Fisheries Measures

Regulatory Measures at West Greenland

Regulatory measures have been agreed by the West Greenland Commission for most of the years since NASCO’s establishment. These have resulted in greatly reduced allowable catches in the West Greenland fishery, reflecting declining abundance of the contributing salmon stocks. In all but two years since 1998, the fishery has been restricted to an internal-use fishery and commercial export of salmon is not permitted. The nominal landings and commercial quotas (tonnes, round fresh weight) of salmon at West Greenland from 1960 to 2019 is shown in the graph below.

Nominal landings and commercial quotas (tonnes, round fresh weight) of salmon at West Greenland from 1960 to 2019
Source: ICES 2020 (p73)

To view details of the measures click the relevant year.

Year Allowable catch (tonnes) Comments / other measures
1984 870  
1985 Greenlandic authorities unilaterally established quota of 852t
1986 850 Catch limit adjusted for season commencing after 1 August.
1987 850 Catch limit adjusted for season commencing after 1 August.
1988-1990 2520 Annual catch in any year not to exceed annual average (840t) by more than 10%. Catch limit adjusted for season commencing after 1 August.
1991 Greenlandic authorities unilaterally established quota of 840t.
1992 No TAC imposed by Greenlandic authorities but if the catch in first 14 days of the season had been higher compared to the previous year a TAC would have been imposed.
1993 213 An agreement detailing a mechanism for establishing an annual quota in each of the years 1993 to 1997 was adopted by the Commission.
1994 159  
1995 77  
1996 Greenlandic authorities unilaterally established a quota of 174t.
1997 57 An addendum to the 1993 Agreement was agreed by the Commission.
1998 Internal consumption fishery only Amount for internal consumption has been estimated in the past to be 20t.
1999 – 2000 Internal consumption fishery only Amount for internal consumption has been estimated in the past to be 20t.
In 2000, a Resolution Regarding the Fishing of Salmon at West Greenland was agreed by the Commission.
2001 28 – 200 Under an ad hoc management programme the allowable catch will be determined on the basis of CPUE data obtained during the fishery.
2002 20 – 55 Under an ad hoc management programme the allowable catch will be determined on the basis of CPUE data obtained during the fishery.
2003 Internal consumption fishery only Amount for internal consumption has been estimated in the past to be 20t.
2004 Internal consumption fishery only Amount for internal consumption has been estimated in the past to be 20t.
2005 Internal consumption fishery only Amount for internal consumption has been estimated in the past to be 20t.
2006-2008 Internal consumption fishery only Amount for internal consumption has been estimated in the past to be 20t.
2009-2011 Internal consumption fishery only Amount for internal consumption has been estimated in the past to be 20t.
2012-2014 Internal consumption fishery only Amount for internal consumption has been estimated in the past to be 20t.
2015-2017 45 Greenland unilaterally committed to limit the total annual catch for all components of its fishery to take no more than 45 t in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Any overharvest in a particular year will result in an equal reduction in the catch limit in the following year. Greenland will further improve the monitoring, management control, and surveillance of its salmon fishery in accordance with the Plan for Implementation of Monitoring and Control Measures in the Salmon Fishery at West Greenland, WGC(15)20 with the objective of achieving full catch accountability.
2018-2020 30 Greenland agreed to restrict the total allowable catch for all components of the Atlantic salmon fishery at West Greenland to 30 metric tonnes in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In the event of any overharvest in a particular year, an equal reduction in the total allowable catch in the following year has been agreed, and any under-harvest will not be carried forward into a future year. Greenland also agreed to require all fishers for Atlantic salmon to have a licence to fish, and to prohibit fishing for Atlantic salmon without a licence; to authorise only licensed full-time hunters and fishers to sell Atlantic salmon only at open air markets in communities; and to require all licensed fishers for Atlantic salmon to provide a full accounting of fishing activity and harvest on a daily basis. Additionally, Greenland agreed to, in a timely manner, inform NASCO and, as appropriate, ICES, of improvements of the monitoring, management control and surveillance or any modification to the management of the Atlantic salmon fishery and to provide an annual report on the outcome of the fishery.

West Greenland Sampling Programme

The West Greenland Commission recognises the important contribution of sound biological data to science-based management decisions for fisheries prosecuted in the West Greenland Commission area. The members of the West Greenland Commission have worked co-operatively over the past five decades to collect biological data on Atlantic salmon harvested at West Greenland. These data provide critical inputs to the stock assessment completed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) North Atlantic Salmon Working Group annually.

A statement of co-operation on the West Greenland Fishery Sampling Programme is agreed annually, so that this work can continue. These statements can be found under the Annual Meeting Papers for the West Greenland Commission.