NFFO Welcomes UK/Norway Fisheries Agreement

30th September 2020 in Brexit, Europe / Common Fisheries Policy

The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation has welcomed the signature of a fisheries framework agreement between UK and Norway. The agreement was signed by Secretary of State, George Eustice, and the Norwegian Fisheries Minister, Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen today. This development is another important milestone towards the UK’s future as an independent coastal state.

NFFO Welcomes UK/Norway Fisheries Agreement

The agreement provides a broad treaty framework which outlines the principles of how the UK and Norway will cooperate in the sphere of fisheries after 31st December when the UK fully leaved the EU Common Fisheries Policy. Much of the substance of how the two parties will cooperate will however be decided in annual fisheries agreements.

NFFO Chief Executive, Barrie Deas, said, “This is the established pattern of how coastal states with shared stocks work with each other to ensure that fish stocks are harvested responsibly and sustainably. Annual agreements provide the necessary flexibility to address changes in the stocks and the science, whilst the framework agreement ensures continuity and a framework of cooperation.”

Annual agreements within this framework will set total allowable catches at safe levels, agree access arrangements to fish in each other’s waters, and also agree quota shares. The international norm is that quota shares should broadly reflect the resources in the respective EEZs, and the agreement with Norway recognises that this type of zonal attachment will be an important principle in the allocation of quotas.

Around 80% of the North Sea falls within the EEZs of Norway and the UK, with the EU only accounting for one fifth, after the UK’s departure from the EU.