Norway, the EU and the United Kingdom have today entered into an agreement on joint management of the stocks in the North Sea. In addition, Norway and the EU have signed three quota agreements. A specific agreement with the UK has yet to be completed.
‘I am pleased that the agreement with the EU and the UK is finally in place. This is the first quota agreement between the three parties for the North Sea, and a prerequisite for sustainable management,’ said Norway’s Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.
Norway, the EU and the United Kingdom have since the beginning of this year been in negotiations on fisheries agreements for 2021. In addition to the tripartite agreement, Norway and the EU have now entered into two-party agreements on the North Sea and Skagerrak, as well as an agreement with neighbouring Sweden.
Norway and the EU agree on access to fishing in each other’s zones and quota exchange.
‘It’s good news that we have agreed with the EU on a fisheries agreement for 2021. Both parties have been flexible and solution-oriented, and I believe we have a balanced agreement that supports our good relationship,’ he said.
With quota exchange in place, Norwegian fishermen can start fishing on the quotas Norway has exchanged for in Greenland and in the EU zone.
‘These agreements are important for maximising value creation for the Norwegian fishing industry. We have had an ongoing dialogue with the industry, which supports the outcome of the negotiations,’ he said and commented that negotiations are continuing with the UK.
‘We are satisfied that these agreements have been entered into and are pleased that the parties have reached an agreement in the negotiations,’ said Audun Maråk, CEO of Norwegian vessel operators’ federation Fiskebåt.
‘The agreement provides a reduced quota exchange balance which leads to reduced fishing opportunities for the fleet. It is important that the fleet groups that are particularly hard hit are compensated through a released third country quota,’ he commented.
The saithe quota has been reduced by 25% to 59,512 tonnes, of which the Norwegian quota is 30,946 tonnes. The cod quota was drastically cut last year, and further reduced to 13,246 tonnes this year, of which the Norwegian share is 2252 tonnes.
In addition to the closed spawning grounds that were maintained by the parties for 2021, Norway will also close areas in the Norwegian zone to protect small cod later this year, as part of the rebuilding the stock.
The quota for North Sea herring is 356,357 tonnes and and the Norwegian share is 103,344 tonnes. Norway has exchanged a blue whiting quota of 37,500 tonnes from the EU, and gained access to fish the Norwegian blue whiting quota in Irish waters, without any area restrictions.