Norway and UK agree on fisheries co-operation
Norway’s minister of fisheries Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen and the UK ambassador to Norway Richard Wood linked up with London to sign the UK’s first fisheries agreement in forty years. Image: government.no

Norway and UK agree on fisheries co-operation

Norway and the United Kingdom have signed a new framework agreement on fisheries co-operation enabling both parties to agree to on the exchange fishing quotas as well as mutual access to each other’s areas of fisheries jurisdiction. The agreement will enter into force on 1st January 2021.

‘This is a great day! I am pleased that we have reached an agreement with the United Kingdom, which will be an important coastal state and partner from January 2021,’ said Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.

Norway’s minister of fisheries Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen and the UK ambassador to Norway Richard Wood. Image: government.no

Arrangements for reciprocal fishing access and the exchange of fishing quotas will be made through annual fishing agreements, as they are today. Other parts of the fisheries co-operation in the North Sea will, however, need to be regulated by a separate tripartite agreement between the EU, Norway and the United Kingdom.

‘I am glad that we now have an agreement that provides a framework for extensive fisheries co-operation with the UK, which is an important country for Norway,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

‘The agreement is consistent with our obligations under the law of the sea to co-operate with other coastal states on the joint management of shared fish stocks, in line with modern sustainable management regimes, an ecosystem-based approach and the precautionary principle. We will also maintain our close cooperation with the EU on fisheries in the North Sea. We look forward to putting in place a trilateral agreement between Norway, the UK and the EU on the management of joint fish stocks in the North Sea, once Brexit becomes a reality.’

The United Kingdom has been part of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy for nearly 40 years. When the Brexit transition period expires on 31st December 2020, the United Kingdom will act as an independent coastal state.

The new agreement between Norway and the United Kingdom facilitates fisheries co-operation on control, licensing and research. In addition, it gives the parties the opportunity to agree on reciprocal access to each other’s fishing zones and to the exchange of fishing opportunities.

‘This agreement facilitates a good and solid fisheries cooperation for the future. The management of shared fish stocks is at its best when the coastal states agree on how this should happen,’ Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen said.

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