Norwegian fishing is hoping for a good outcome to the Annual Fisheries Agreement 2021 talks
As the Annual Fisheries Agreement negotiations start, Norwegian fishing organisation, Fiskebåt, is hoping for a quick and satisfactory outcome to the talks between Norway, the EU and the UK.
This is the first official meeting after the EU and the UK agreed on a Brexit agreement on Christmas Eve and Norwegian fishers are looking for an agreement that will allow their vessels to access UK waters in the North Sea, as they are currently locked-out due to there being no fisheries agreement in place for 2021.
Norway negotiates every year on the common fish stocks such as cod, haddock, herring and saithe in the North Sea. Due to the Brexit negotiations, fisheries negotiations for 2021 were delayed . Now all three parties will negotiate on how the stocks in the North Sea will be managed.
“Several fish stocks in the North Sea migrate between Norway, the EU and the United Kingdom. It is therefore important that we jointly agree on total quotas and management measures so that we can ensure sustainable management of these fish stocks,” says Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.
The negotiation meetings are attended by representatives from the administrative authorities and business interests in the EU, the United Kingdom and Norway.
From the Norwegian side, the delegation will consist of representatives at official level from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (NFD), the Directorate of Fisheries and the Institute of Marine Research, as well as the Norwegian delegation to the EU and the Norwegian Embassy in the United Kingdom. Ann Kristin Westberg (NFD) heads the Norwegian delegation.
Representatives from several business organizations, including Fiskebåt, are also participating in the negotiations.
“We hope to reach the end of the negotiations quickly, but given the circumstances, it cannot be ruled out that this may take some time. This is the first time we will negotiate in a trilateral setting, which will also take place at a video conference as a result of the corona situation,” says Ingebrigtsen.
In total, almost 140 delegates from EU Member States, Norway and the United Kingdom will take part in the negotiations.
The United Kingdom is an important market for Norwegian seafood, where seafood exports account for about 20 per cent of Norwegian mainland exports to the United Kingdom. Norway therefore has framework agreements with both the EU and the United Kingdom. The framework agreement on fisheries cooperation with the EU dates from 1980, while on 30 September 2020, a framework agreement on fisheries cooperation between Norway and the United Kingdom was signed. The framework agreements are overriding and do not include specific issues such as zone access and quota exchange.