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Norway, the EU and UK have signed a tripartite agreement on fishing opportunities for 2024

Norway, the EU and UK have signed a tripartite agreement on quota determination and management of the joint stocks in the North Sea.

“It is gratifying that we are on target with the negotiations with the EU and UK. This means that we agree on quotas for important stocks that we manage together in the North Sea. This is crucial for sustainable management,” says Fisheries and Oceans Minister Cecilie Myrseth.

The negotiations started in November and have gone through three rounds. This year, the parties have spent a lot of time discussing and reaching agreement on the management of cod and North Sea herring.

Reacting to the news of the trilateral agreement, the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association assistant general secretary, Jan Birger Jørgensen said:

“From the Fiskarlaget’s side, we are very satisfied that these agreements are in place before the turn of the year and that the agreements essentially provide fishing opportunities for Norwegian vessels which essentially continue the pattern we have had in recent years.”

About the agreement

Cod

The parties have agreed on a total quota for 2024 of 31,301 tonnes, which is an increase of 15 percent compared to the quota for 2023. This quota includes cod west of Scotland. The quota set aside for the North Sea is 24,900 tonnes. The Norwegian quota is 4,233 tonnes.

The scientific advisory body ICES presented this autumn a quota council for cod which divided the stock in the North Sea into 3 sub-stocks. In addition, the quota council included cod in the West of Scotland area, which has previously been managed separately. The changes have complicated quota determination, and there is a need to look more closely at how this will be done in the future. The method for setting the quota for cod for 2024 is therefore temporary.

The parties also agree to continue closing the spawning grounds for cod in 2024. The closures will take place in the first quarter. Norway will, as in previous years, consider closing fields in the Norwegian zone to protect small cod later in the year.

North Sea herring

For 2024, the parties have adopted quotas for North Sea herring, which total 532,166 tonnes. This is an increase of 28.3 percent compared to 2023. The Norwegian quota is 147,994 tonnes.

Other stocks

ICES has recommended increased quotas for saithe and haddock for 2024.

  • For saithe, the parties have adopted a total quota for 2024 of 73,815 tonnes, which is an increase of 25 percent. The Norwegian quota is 34,776 tonnes.
  • For haddock, the parties have agreed a total quota for 2024 of 101,420 tonnes, which is an increase of 17.8 percent. The Norwegian quota is 23,327 tonnes.
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