There is a positive Norwegian reaction to the outcome of the UK-Norway bilateral fisheries agreement which was announced today

There is a positive Norwegian reaction to the outcome of the UK-Norway bilateral fisheries agreement which was announced today. Photo: Norges Sildesalgslag

Norwegian fishing has welcomed the outcome of the UK-Norway bilateral fisheries agreement but have been left wondering why mackerel is not mentioned in the deal.

The Norwegian Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, Bjørnar Skjæran welcomed the agreement for 2023 saying, “I am very satisfied that the agreement with Great Britain is in place, it gives Norwegian fishermen predictability.

“The negotiations have taken place in a good tone, have been effective and show that our relationship to Britain is close and good.”

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In the agreement, Norway and the UK have agreed on mutual access to fishing for demersal fish in each other’s waters. The agreement is a continuation of this year’s agreement and is designed so that the parties have access to fish up to 30,000 tonnes in the other party’s zone in the North Sea in 2023.

It was also agreed that Norwegian vessels can fish up to 20,000 tonnes of their North Sea herring quota in the British zone, while British vessels can fish up to 20,000 tonnes of their quota for NVG herring in the Norwegian zone. The parties have agreed a limited quota exchange to safeguard traditional Norwegian fishing in the British zone further west than the North Sea.

“For the whitefish fleet, there is now a good solution in place for both parties,” says the Norwegian Fisheries Minister. “In the pelagic sector, we have also gained better access to fishing North Sea herring than we had this year.”

Norway believes that it is important to continue developing a good relationship with Great Britain in the fisheries area, something recognised by the Norges Sildesalgslag, the Norwegian pelagic processors organisation who say: 

“Like Norway, Great Britain has control over large areas of sea, and we have a common border in the North Sea. At the same time, Norway and Great Britain often have similar views when it comes to marine management, and we are therefore natural alliance partners. The agreement includes a reference to expanding the strategic collaboration.”

Although happy with the deal, Norges Sildesalgslag expressed a concern about the agreement saying, “Mackerel is not currently mentioned in the agreement,” but Hanne Skodje, acting communications manager with the Ministry of Trade and Fisheries in an email to Norwegian fisheries platform, Fiskerbladet said:

“Negotiations on mackerel are going on in their own way, and the Ministry of Trade and Fisheries will provide more information when the negotiations are finished.”

Reacting to the news of the deal, the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association who, as usual, participated in the negotiations as advisers to the Norwegian authorities welcomed the deal with the Association leader, Kåre Heggebø saying:

“It is positive that we have now put in place a fisheries agreement with Great Britain for 2023. For Norwegian fishermen, the agreement is about quota exchange and zone access, and the agreement provides the necessary predictability to plan the activities for 2023. We are therefore satisfied that this is now in place.”

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Positive Norwegian reaction to fisheries agreement with the UK

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