Danish fisheries will have access to Norwegian waters after three months of being locked out due to Brexit
Finally, Danish fishermen will have access to Norwegian waters, but the price is far too high and a clear consequence of Brexit, claims the Danish Fishermen’s Association.
After three difficult months, where the Danish fishermen have not been able to get into Norwegian waters in the North Sea and Skagerrak, an agreement is now in place. The EU, Norway and the United Kingdom have now agreed on fishing quotas for 2021, and the extremely important access to being able to fish in Norwegian waters is on the horizon. But everything has a price – and this is unquestionably too high.
“It’s a very expensive deal! We are happy to finally have access to Norwegian waters, but unfortunately the EU does not have enough quota in EU waters to switch to quotas in Norwegian waters, which are very important for Danish fisheries. We are losing important quotas, and this will have major consequences for the Danish fishermen and the Danish fishing ports in West and North Jutland, which are dependent on the fishermen’s catches,” says chairman of the Danish Fisheries Association, Svend Erik Andersen:
“We know that Minister of Fisheries Rasmus Prehn and the government have put pressure on, and the EU and Norway have worked hard to get an agreement. But now is the time to take fishing into account. This is a very heavy burden to bear, which comes right on top of Brexit, where fishermen also paid an unreasonably high price in fishing quotas for access to British waters.”
And Brexit in particular is also the main reason why it has come this far again.
With the trade agreement between the EU and the UK in Christmas 2020, Danish fisheries lost fishing quotas to an estimated value of up to DKK 1.5 billion. Normally, the EU exchanges quotas away to Norwegians for access to Norwegian waters, but due to the many quotas that the EU gave to the British at Brexit, they do not have much to trade with. Among other things. therefore, fishing opportunities in Norwegian waters are declining.
“Now we are seriously feeling the consequences of Brexit. The drastic fall in quotas is a clear consequence of Brexit, which has completely turned the whole situation upside down. This year’s quotas in no way reflect nature and the stocks in the sea, but rather the political chaos that Brexit has created and in which Danish fisheries have been taken hostage,” says Svend-Erik Andersen.
That this year’s quotas and Brexit are linked should also be written by politicians behind the ear. The bill for Brexit has ended up with the fishermen, drawing long shadows that do not just have to be wiped off on a profession.
“Fisheries must be fully compensated for all the losses we suffer as a result of Brexit. It should stand above any doubt. In this way, we can ensure that fishing can continue to contribute to growth and employment in the small port communities and at the same time develop fishing in an even more sustainable direction,” says the chairman.
It is the so-called trilateral agreement that is in place between the EU, the UK and Norway, as well as the bilateral agreement between the EU and Norway, and they apply until the end of 2021. It is thus approx. 9 months, and then a new agreement must be in place, where the Danish Fisheries Association has a clear expectation that the EU here will ensure that the quotas are back on a par with previous years.
The EU and the UK continue to negotiate their bilateral agreement. At the turn of the year, temporary quotas were set for the North Sea, Skagerrak and other waters for the first quarter of 2021, but that quarter is about to expire.