The Norwegian Minister of Fisheries has asked the EU and the UK for better progress on bilateral talks
The Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Seafood has asked the EU and the United Kingdom for better progress in the negotiations on the bilateral fisheries agreements before the tripartite agreement between the three parties is signed.
Norway, the EU and the United Kingdom have since the turn of the year been in negotiations on fisheries cooperation for 2021. A three-sided agreement is being negotiated on the management of joint fish stocks in the North Sea. At the same time, bilateral agreements are being negotiated with the United Kingdom and the EU, respectively, on issues such as access to fishing in each other’s zones and quota exchange. The three agreements are closely linked, partly because the value of a fishing quota also depends on where the quota can be fished.
“The parties have come a long way in the tripartite agreement on the establishment of total quotas and the distribution of joint stocks in the North Sea. However, the bilateral talks on access to fishing in each other’s zones and quota swaps are still only in their infancy, and it will probably take time to negotiate agreed solutions. Negotiations with the United Kingdom in particular have come a short way,” says Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.
The Minister of Fisheries and Seafood wants a better understanding of what agreements on access to fishing in each other’s zones and quota exchange will actually mean for Norwegian fishermen, before the tripartite agreement with the EU and the UK can be signed.
“It is necessary that the negotiations are pursued further, before we possibly sign the tripartite agreement with the EU and the UK on total quotas for common stocks in the North Sea. Norway has therefore made it clear to the United Kingdom and the EU that we will first sign the tripartite agreement on total quotas for the common stocks in the North Sea, when the negotiations on the bilateral agreements provide a clearer picture of the mutual conditions for access to fishing in each other’s zones and quota exchange. The decision was made on the advice and with understanding from an overall Norwegian fishing industry,” says Ingebrigtsen.
Norway was ready to start fisheries negotiations with the EU and the UK at the usual time last autumn, but this year’s fisheries agreements were severely delayed due to the Brexit negotiations that took place between the UK and the EU until Christmas Eve.