The Norwegian and UK fisheries ministers met to discuss the future relationship of seafood trade and fishing access
Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen met with his British counterpart, George Eustice yesterday to discuss the seafood trade between the two countries.
The topics for the online meeting were trade in seafood, a new trade regime for seafood in the negotiations on a free trade agreement and ongoing negotiations on fisheries management.
“The UK and Norway are two major fishing nations in Europe, and now we are both outside the EU. As a result, we need to reopen the paths for cooperation between the UK and Norway in the seafood sector. In the meeting, I pointed out the importance of finding solutions that benefit both countries,” says Minister Ingebrigtsen.
After the United Kingdom left the EU at the turn of the year, new challenges have arisen for trade in seafood between Norway and the United Kingdom. In Tuesday’s meeting, the two ministers agreed that it would be useful to establish a bilateral dialogue where challenges for trade in seafood can be discussed.
New free trade agreement
Norway is currently in ongoing negotiations with the United Kingdom on a new free trade agreement. The future trade regime between Norway and the United Kingdom in the area of seafood will be determined by the new free trade agreement.
“Seafood is one of our largest export industries and is important in the negotiations. For me, it was important to promote the seafood industry’s interests in the meeting with Eustice,” says the Minister of Fisheries and Seafood.
Ministers also discussed the ongoing negotiations between the United Kingdom and Norway on a new agreement on access to fishing in each other’s zones and exchange of fishing quotas.
“The United Kingdom is an important fishing partner for Norway. We have a lot in common when it comes to views on fisheries policy. The United Kingdom is a new, large player and we have traditionally had a close operational collaboration that has been useful for both parties,” says Ingebrigtsen.
At the meeting, the Minister of Fisheries and Seafood emphasized that Norway would like to strengthen this cooperation through an agreement on quota exchange and zone access.
“But I also pointed out that such an agreement must be balanced and based on traditional levels of zone access. I am therefore glad that we agreed to continue the negotiations with a view to finding a solution,” concluded Ingebrigtsen.