The EU and Greenland have concluded negotiations for a new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) and a new protocol that will strengthen fisheries co-operation for the next four years with the possibility of a two-year extension.
This is the only mixed Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) in the North Atlantic, and the third most important agreement in place for the EU in financial terms.
It will allow the EU fleet (12 large-scale trawlers) to continue fishing in Greenland waters for a duration of 4+2 years while continuing to contribute to the development of the fisheries sector in Greenland.
Fishing opportunities have been negotiated for the same species as in the current protocol – cod, redfish, Greenland halibut, northern prawn, capelin and grenadier.
Fishing opportunities for mackerel have also been included in the agreement at a zero TAC level. Any quota of mackerel transferred by Greenland in the future will be dependent on Greenland signing the Coastal States Sharing Arrangement on the management of mackerel with the EU.
Reference prices have also been updated, using a methodology agreed between both parties and taking into account current market prices.
Based on the fishing opportunities and the newly negotiated reference prices, the EU will provide Greenland with an annual financial contribution of €16,500,000. A significant part of this contribution, €2,900,000 annually, is specifically earmarked to promote the development of the fisheries sector in Greenland. For the whole duration of the protocol, the estimated value amounts to €99,000,000. Additionally EU vessel owners will pay licence fees for the fishing opportunities.
This new SFPA is seen as an important step forward in the partnership between the EU and Greenland, which dates back to 1985, upholding principles of the common fisheries policy such as transparency, governance of fishing activities, non-discrimination, respect of the scientific advice and scientific cooperation on data collection and analysis.
It complies with Greenland’s legislation and the management and scientific measures taken in the context of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO), Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Through the new SFPA, co-operation on monitoring, control and surveillance on fishing activities will be further reinforced.
Each party will now initiate the necessary legislative procedures for the signature and conclusion of the new agreement and its implementing protocol.