A leaked document of the UK-Norway Fisheries Framework Agreement could offer an insight into the deal being offered to the EU
Is the United Kingdom offering the same style of fisheries agreement to the European Union that it has now put in place with Norway?
The Fisheries Framework Agreement signed on 30 September by Environment Secretary George Eustice and Norwegian Fisheries Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen will mean that the UK and Norway hold annual negotiations on the issues of access to waters and quotas.
In a document leaked this week, it has shown that the UK has secured “zonal attachment’ which is a key demand in the British postBrexit trade talks with the EU. The EU has rejected ‘zonal attachment’ as they believe that any scientific method to calculate fishing quotas based on where fish live will have serious long-term implications as some fish stocks are migratory, plus they believe fish stocks are moving further north due to warming seas.
The Norway agreement says: “We commit to recognising the importance of zonal attachment as a principle of international fisheries management applied by coastal states when discharging their obligations under UNCLOS and related instruments in relation to join management of shared stocks.”
The document also shows that the UK and Norway have reached an agreement on access where each Party may grant access to its area of jurisdiction to vessels flying the flag of the other Party, for the purpose of fishing. The extent and conditions of any such access shall be in the subject of annual consultations between the parties.
“The Parties shall consult annually to seek to determine, inter alia, the following matters.
“Any access by fishing vessels flying the flag of one Party to the other’s area of jurisdiction.
“Any transfer of quota from one Party to the other for fishing by vessels flying the flag of the other Party, subjected to adjustment where necessary.
“The Parties shall produce a written record documenting the results of their consultations.”
This is another stumbling block for the EU negotiation team as they have been mandated to bring back a deal where annual negotiations for the right of access and assigned quota is not required.
The UK and Norway also agreed that when one of their vessels enter into the jurisdiction of the others to fish “the competent authorities of the fishing Party shall communicate in due time to the licensing Party the name, registration number, and other relevant particulars of the fishing vessels which shall be eligible to fish within the jurisdiction of the licensing Party.”
“The agreement will enter into force on 01 January 2021, after the UK and Northern Ireland have left the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.
This new agreement will initially run until 31 December 2026 and after this period it will be fully renegotiated at consecutive periods of four-years, unless it is terminated in between times.
The pact concludes: “Either Party may terminate this Agreement by giving notice to the other Party at least one year before the expiry of the initial period.”