Fiskarlaget call for and exemption to ice fishing in Svalbard. Arctic Swan shrimp fishing in icy waters. Photo: Henning Flusund. norway cross-border fishing ban 2024

Norway has announced a ban on cross-border fishing activities and fish beyond the outer limits of its economic zone from 01 January 2024

As of 01 January 2024, Norway has officially prohibited fishing beyond the outer limits of its economic zone, the fishing zone near Jan Mayen, and the fishing protection zone near Svalbard.

It is also not permitted to carry out fishing operations where the fishing gear or vessel crosses the borders of areas in Norwegian waters that are regulated with different quota bases.

This new prohibition marks an actual change in the Skagerrak region, while in other parts of Norwegian waters, it represents a clarification of existing regulations.

In the Skagerrak region, the ban initially applies to Norwegian and foreign vessels exceeding 12 metres. A proposal to extend the ban to all vessel lengths in the Skagerrak region will undergo public consultation in the first quarter of 2024, with implementation scheduled for 01 January 2025. Vessels, both Norwegian and foreign, under 12 metres have a grace period of one year to adjust their fishing activities to comply with the prohibition on cross-border fishing in the Skagerrak region.

The ban on cross-border fishing is already in effect in all Norwegian waters except the Skagerrak. Therefore, the prohibition does not bring about any change for fishermen outside of the Skagerrak region.


Reporting Requirements for Crossing Borders in Skagerrak

Norwegian and foreign vessels exceeding 12 metres are already subject to reporting with Electronic Reporting System (ERS) and can use existing equipment for reporting. Foreign vessels must submit a notification of the start of fishing (COE) and a notification of the end of fishing (COX).

The requirement for similar notifications for Norwegian vessels will need to be regulated by EU regulations. The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries notes that the EU has not yet imposed similar requirements on Norwegian vessels for reporting when crossing zones in the Skagerrak. Nevertheless, the Directorate expects that Norwegian vessels may eventually face similar requirements.

Danish and Swedish vessels fishing in the Skagerrak are exempt from the deadlines for reporting the start and end of fishing activities (COE/COX). These vessels can cross borders immediately upon receiving a return message with the status “ACK.”

The exemption from reporting deadlines applies only in the Skagerrak, and those fishing in other areas must report as usual and adhere to existing deadlines.

Reporting requirements for EU vessels (Swedish and Danish vessels) will follow regulations for electronic reporting. There will be no reporting obligation for vessels not otherwise subject to ERS requirements.

Vessels crossing the border between Skagerrak and the North Sea (both ways) in Norwegian waters are not required to send new notifications (COE/COX).


Source: Press Release

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