The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has decided to expand the buy-out scheme in connection with this summer's seismic data acquistion activity at Nordland VII and Troms II. The original scheme, which included regular use of lines and nets, is expanded to also include Danish seine and hand-lines. The buy-out scheme includes active fishermen who have delivered catches from the seismic acquistion areas in question on Nordland VII and Troms II from Jun. 28 to Aug. 10.
The reason for the NPD's decision to expand the scheme to include Danish seine and hand-line fishermen, is feedback from the Nordland County Fishermen's Association and from meetings the NPD had with fishermen in Vesteralen at the beginning of June. Both the fishermen's association and individual fishermen have pointed out that those who use Danish seine and hand-lines will be prevented from fishing due to the NPD's acquisition of 3D seismic data for six weeks from Jun. 29 to Aug. 9.
The original scheme had an acceptance deadline on Jun. 12. Due to the expansion of the scheme, the deadline for all affected fishermen has been pushed back to Jun. 23.
"So far, between 50 and 60 fishermen have responded positively to the original scheme. The NPD hopes the expansion will lead more fishermen to accept the offer, so the summer’s seismic data acquisition is made possible," said exploration director Sissel Eriksen of the NPD.
This also means that the subsequent research in Vesteralen can be carried out as planned. This is the largest ever research project to study the startle factor seismic shooting has on various fish species.
The buy-out scheme compensates fishermen for the six weeks the NPD's acquisition of seismic data is carried out. However, the fishermen can fish during the period as long as this does not interfere with the seismic data acquisition. Any income from this fishing will not be deducted from the payout amount.
In 2008, about 180 fishermen delivered catches from the areas in question on Nordland VII and Troms II during the period Jun. 28 to Aug. 10, according to catch information from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries. This includes net, line, Danish Seine and hand-line fishing. Preliminary estimates suggest the scheme will cost between NOK 13 and 15 million.
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