A lack of an agreement between the EU & the UK will have serious affects on the Norwegian fishing fleet according to their Fisheries Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen
The lack of a fisheries agreements with the EU and the UK could have consequences for Norwegian, British and EU fishermen.
If no agreements are in place by 01 January, Norway will have to close its economic zone to fishing vessels from the EU and the UK.
“We can also not expect Norwegian fishermen to have access to their zones. That is why I now urge the EU and the UK to come to the negotiating table,” says Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.
Norway and the EU have cooperated on fisheries for over 40 years. The cooperation means, among other things, that Norwegian fishing boats have been able to fish in EU waters, and vice versa.
The United Kingdom will become an important, independent fishing nation after the 31 December 202 when the transition period with the EU comes to an end.
“The Norwegian authorities are clear that we must have a cooperation in place that includes all three parties. We want a long-term, sustainable administration in collaboration with our closest neighbours,” says Ingebrigtsen in a press release.
This year’s negotiations on the common stocks in the North Sea have not yet begun due to the Brexit negotiations that are still ongoing between the EU and the United Kingdom, where fisheries are also an issue. The EU has so far not committed to participate in trilateral negotiations with Norway and the United Kingdom.
In the North Sea, fish swim between Norwegian, British and EU waters. Norway therefore wishes all three parties to meet for negotiations on the management of divided stocks.
“Norway is ready to start negotiations, so that we can agree on total quotas for our common stocks in the North Sea. Our goal is that the fisheries can continue as normal, but then we need a clarification soon,” says Ingebrigtsen.
Until the parties agree on total quotas, Norway plans to set national quotas in line with advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).
Vessels from EU Member States or the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter the Norwegian EEZ to fish. The same will apply to the Skagerrak agreement, which is a bilateral agreement between Norway and the EU on mutual access for Danish, Norwegian and Swedish vessels from 4 nautical miles in the Skagerrak. Equally, Norwegian vessels will not have access to British jurisdictions or EU waters.
Norway has framework agreements on fisheries cooperation with both the EU and the United Kingdom. The framework agreement on fisheries cooperation with the EU dates from 1980, and on 30 September this year Norway signed a framework agreement on fisheries cooperation with the United Kingdom. The framework agreements are overarching and do not affect specific issues such as zone access and quota exchange. This must therefore be agreed annually with both the EU and the UK.