The Scottish White Fish Producers Association say they are delighted that an agreement has now been reached between the UK and Norway for quota and access in 2022.
Mike Park OBE and CEO of the SWFPA welcomed the outcome. Speaking to The Fishing Daily, Mike said, “We’re extremely happy that we can now get access again from January 1st, although that will depend on how quickly they can get licenses in place to fish the Norwegian zone.
“But that was one of four priorities for our association this year, along with access to Faroe grounds, mitigating the cod cuts and mitigating some of the anglerfish cut.
So, we’re extremely happy that for the start of the year, the fleet can move away from consolidating around Shetland.”
Asked if he had any concerns regarding the agreement, he said “There are provisions in place to monitor fleet behavior so we’re secured by the fact that we don’t think activity could take place by the Norwegians that could harm the stocks.
“So, we don’t have any major concerns, but it will be necessary to monitor what the fleet movements are over the next 12 months and make adjustments for the following year that they can counteract some of those adjustments if indeed that happens.
“Like everything else in negotiations, finding a balance deal is always difficult, and you know, in some cases they may not be ideal, but it’s a balanced deal, nonetheless.
We’re extremely happy to get access to the Norwegian zone once again but the second part of this will be access to the Faroe zone.”
“Along with access to Faroe waters, gaining access to Norwegian waters was a key ask of our membership. The role of the Association is many and varied but a key role is to provide as diverse a range of fishing options and opportunities as possible,” said,” David Milne, Chairman of the SWFPA.
There was some concern that negotiations would break down for the second year, the SWFPA says that by using a pragmatic approach by all parties in both the lead-up, and during the negotiations itself, it allowed a balanced deal to be reached.
The SWFPA said “We would like to thank our Scottish officials in particular who, with others, have worked tirelessly throughout the year to deliver this outcome.”
by Oliver McBride