Norwegian fishermen's organisation 2021

Norwegian fishermen’s organisation outlines demands for 2021 in aftermath of no bilateral fisheries deal with the United Kindom. Photo: Fiskarlaget

The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association has heard Fiskarlaget’s input on the question of compensation for loss of fishing opportunities because of the lack of a bilatereal agreement with the United Kingdom for 2021.

See the entire decision here.

In a meeting on 11 May 2021, the National Board of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association made the following decision:

1/. Norges Fiskarlag refers to the authorities’ announcement of 30 April that Norway and the United Kingdom will end the fisheries negotiations on a quota agreement for 2021. Norges Fiskarlag agrees that there will be no quota agreement with Great Britain for 2021 and has supported the authorities’ line of negotiation vis-à-vis the UK, based on the unacceptable demands made by the UK to reach an agreement. 

A lack of a quota agreement with the UK obviously has negative consequences for several Norwegian fisheries / quota groups. The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association therefore finds it reasonable that compensatory measures are given to the fleet groups that are most affected in this situation, and that this is done through the allocation of quantities from unallocated third country quotas of e.g. cod north of 62 ° N.

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2/. Unallocated quantity limits for cod, saithe and haddock north of 62 ° N, which were initially set aside for quota agreements with other countries for 2021, are based on the Fisheries Association’s overviews as follows:

Cod: 12,202 tonnes + 4,387 tonnes (Norwegian share of Svalbard sales) = 17,039 tonnes
Haddock: 3,913 tonnes
Saithe: 1,655 tonnes

3/. The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association refers to previous practice and experience related to the use of quota compensation schemes in situations without or late entering into quota agreements with other countries. The last time this happened was in 2014.

4/. The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association has assessed the case, and after an overall assessment we have come to the conclusion that reasonableness considerations and previous practice indicate that the part of the fleet that loses both quota basis and access to fishing areas due to lack of quota agreement with the UK should be compensated for its loss.

5/. Compensation for groups of vessels that were affected by missing or delayed quota agreements with third countries was, among other things. confirmed in the national board decision 17/14 in the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association in 2014. Here it appears, among other things. that:

«The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association points out that the resource allocation decision from 2007 (national meeting decision 6/07) includes all fishing opportunities and quota basis that are included in the fishing for the individual fleet groups. This means that quotas that the deep-sea fishing fleet is given access to in other countries’ zones are also included in the agreed quota package. Annual access to quotas for Norwegian vessels in other countries’ zones is balanced through the exchange of cod and haddock allocated in the third country quota in the agreements between Norway and Russia. This pattern has been in place since the establishment of the economic zones since 1977.

In connection with Norway not having a bilateral quota agreement with the Faroe Islands in recent years, a practice has been developed for the years 2012 and 2013 in which all conventional deep-sea fishing vessels received compensation through additional quotas from the third country quota. The fishing team is of the opinion that compensation must be given to defined vessel groups that have been affected by missing or delayed quota agreements, and not to individual vessels. The latter compensation alternative is probably not a legal authority either. “

6/. Although there are several fisheries / fleet groups that will be negatively affected by the lack of an agreement with the UK in 2021, the Fishermen’s Association believes that it is especially vessels fishing on longline and tusk quotas in the UK zone that are hardest hit. This fleet consists of 26 conventional deep-sea fishing vessels and 4 coastal vessels of 28 metres with long and tusk access.

7/. With reference to the fact that a significant quantity of cod and haddock remains from sales to third countries, the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association finds it reasonable that the conventional deep-sea fishing fleet as an ad hoc solution for 2021 will be compensated for the loss of increased quota for cod north of 62 ° N. Following an overall assessment and consideration of reasonableness, the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association recommends that the group of conventional deep-sea fishing vessels be compensated with 5,000 tonnes of cod and 3,000 tonnes of haddock by the unallocated third country quotas and that this quantity be divided equally by the number of basic quotas in the group.

8/. The fishing association also believes that it is natural to include the four coastal vessels over 28 meters with participation rights in fishing for ling and tusk in the proposed scheme / quantity framework. The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association sees no reason to discriminate between the 4 coastal vessels over 28 metres and the conventional deep-sea fishing vessels and believes that all 30 vessels should be given equal compensation.

9/. In addition to the aforementioned fleet group, Fiskarlaget will also point out that some conventional coastal vessels that traditionally carry out their fishing activity with nets in the British zone in the North Sea for large parts of the year are affected, even though they mainly have their quota basis. The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association therefore asks the authorities to consider giving these vessels a quota compensation of the unallocated saithe quota north of 62 ° N.

10/. There are also other fisheries/fleet groups, both whitefish and pelagic, which are negatively affected by lack of access and quota basis in the British zone, but the Fishermen’s Association considers that this cannot be solved through this year’s quota compensation scheme.

11/. The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association also refers to an e-mail received from the Directorate of Fisheries of 04 May 2021 requesting that the fishing industry provide input on the following issues:

-How much of the unused third country quota should be returned to the national quota?
-How should an unused third country quota be distributed between groups of vessels and provisions?
-Possible effective time for such a redistribution?

12/. The Norwegian Fisheries Association believes that the third country quantity of cod, haddock and saithe north of 62 ° N that remains after the proposed dispositions for compensation purposes as stated above, must be distributed according to the traditional distribution keys, in accordance with what has already been done for 16,000 tonnes of cod. the third country quota. This should be implemented as soon as possible unless the ministry follows up the Fishermen’s Association’s previous input regarding regulation of cod fishing in the smallest coastal fishing fleet of 23 April this year. where we pointed out the importance of Norway entering into negotiations with Russia on an ad hoc agreement for this year’s cod fishing where the goal must be to reach an agreement between the parties to be able to transfer more than 10% (15% -20%) of national quota by 2022.

13/. Fiskarlaget believes it is very important that such an agreement is reached, to ensure that as little of the Norwegian quota as possible is lost. There is still a significant quantity of this year’s quota, and there is great uncertainty about how the development in fishing during the year will manifest itself due to various challenges such as availability and market challenges.”

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Norwegian fishermen’s organisation outlines fishing demands for 2021

by editor time to read: 10 min