Norway reaches fishing deal with UK and EU

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Norway has struck an important new fisheries agreement with the UK and the European Union.

While the deal mainly involves the catching sectors of each of the participants, it is also important for Norway’s farmed salmon sector because it avoids the possibility of a wider dispute, which might impact on trading for aquaculture.

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bjørnar Skjæran said: “The tripartite agreement is the basis for the bilateral agreements and it is important that we agree on total quotas for the joint stocks in the North Sea. Total quotas and their distribution are crucial for sustainable management. I am happy that this is now in place.”

In addition to this agreement, Norway is negotiating quota swaps and zone access with the EU.

The quotas vary: some have increased, while others have decreased from last year. The cod quota has increased by 18.7% and is 53,374 tonnes, of which the Norwegian quota is 27,755 tonnes. The quota for North Sea herring was 396,556 tonnes and of this the Norwegian quota is 115,001 tonnes.

The cod quota was set at 21,652 tonnes, where the Norwegian quota is 3,681 tonnes before provisions. The cod quota is in accordance with the advice from ICES, and involves an increase from a record low level in 2022.

Catch limits for major fished species have all been increased with the exception of herring, which has had limits cut by 7.3%. Cod fishery limits have been increased by 63%.

The UK government said the trilateral deal has secured fishing catch limits worth £202m million to the UK’s fishing industry, representing a £33m increase from last year.

Two weeks earlier Norway entered into a bilateral agreement with Britain which includes mutual access to fishing in each other’s zones, as well as the exchange of fishing quotas involving a number of species for 2023.

“I am very satisfied that the agreement with Great Britain is in place, it gives Norwegian fishermen predictability,” Minister Bjørnar Skjæran added.

He said: “The negotiations have taken place in a good tone, have been effective and show that our relationship with Great Britain is close and good.”

Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer said: “I’m pleased we have reached agreements with the EU and Norway, and wider coastal states, to secure important fish stocks worth over £450m for the UK fishing fleet in 2023.

“The deals will help support a sustainable, profitable fishing industry for years to come while continuing to protect our marine environment and vital fishing grounds.”