The EU has expressed concern over unsustainable decisions on Arctic cod in the Barents Sea and the Svalbard Zone by Norway and Russia
Sustainable management relies on cooperation
The EU is calling on Norway and Russia to cooperate on the management of this stock, together with all relevant parties with the objective of agreeing a sustainable and non-discriminatory management of Arctic cod. While the EU and Norway have different interpretations of the Treaty of Paris governing the management of fisheries around the archipelago of Svalbard, for more than 35 years, together we have ensured a stable management of this stock. As a testimony to this successful cooperation, the EU would have expected Norway to engage with the EU prior to adopting a drastic change as compared to the past management and quota allocation practices.
The recent decisions of Norway and Russia lead to a higher pressure on this important fish stock, and to a discriminatory treatment of EU fishers, who see their long-standing rights not recognized by the Norwegian authorities to the benefit of the Norwegian and Russian fishers. The approach of setting quotas to be fished by other States, without involving those States, contravenes the international law of the sea; moreover, setting fish quotas above the maximum sustainable yield risks further deterioration of the fish stocks concerned.