Norwegian Government concern as the UK, EU and Norway have yet to enter trilateral talks on fishing opportunities in the North Sea for 2021

The Norwegian government has expressed concern over the lack of trilateral talks on fishing opportunities in the North Sea for 2021

The Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg welcomed the Brexit agreement which was reached last week between the UK and the EU saying “this is good news for the UK, the EU and Norway.

Unfortunately, the agreement comes too late for the start of the new year. The UK, EU and Norway have yet to enter trilateral talks on fishing opportunities in the North Sea for 2021. This will mean, as of 01 January 2021, Norwegian vessels will not be able to fish in the British zone or EU zone, in the same way as vessels from the UK or the EU cannot fish in Norway’s economic zone.

The EU had suggested, as a contingency plan, of rolling-over 25% of TACs from the 2020 trilateral agreement into the first quarter of 2021, but this idea had not been accepted by the other two parties.

Fishing fleets will now experience a void in their fishing until an agreement, whether provisional or settled is brought into place by the three parties.

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The UK and Norway are also set to hold bilateral talks on fisheries under the fisheries framework agreement signed by Fisheries Secretary Victoria Prentis in mid-November this year.

It is not certain, but it would be more than likely a provisional agreement would be put in place as it has been warned that trilateral negotiations on shared access and quotas between the EU, Norway and the UK could take months. This is the first time the UK will be taking part in the talks as an independent coastal state and therefore, the negotiations will start from scratch.

The Norwegian Fisheries Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen also expressed concern about the lack of movement on talks saying “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.”

Brian J McMullin Solicitors
MMG Welding Killybegs

Norwegian Government concern over lack of trilateral agreement for 2021

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