Norway fails to agree fishing quota deal with United Kingdom

Norway fails to agree fishing quota deal with United Kingdom
Boats moored in Bergens harbour. Photo by Lachlan Gowen on Unsplash
Norway and Britain have ended their negotiations for a bilateral deal on fishing quotas without reaching an agreement, the Norwegian government announced Friday.

Both sides had mutually agreed that it was “time to put an end to the negotiations,” the government said in a statement.

“Brexit has undoubtedly created a number of challenges for the Norwegian fishing industry. It has proved extremely difficult to reach an agreement with the United Kingdom on zone access and quota exchange for 2021. When it comes to mutual access to fish in each other’s waters on common stocks, the distance was too great for us to reach an agreement,” Norway’s fisheries minister Odd Emil Ingerbrigsten said.

“Norway has had a firm stance throughout the negotiations in consultation with the fishing industry,” the fishing minister added.

This means that Norwegian fishermen will not be able to fish in British waters and their British counterparts will not be able to fish in Norwegian waters this year.

In March, the EU, Britain and Norway reached a three-way agreement, the first since Brexit, for the overall level of allowable catches in the North Sea.

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But the three parties still had to reach bilateral agreements on quota exchange and access to each other’s fishing grounds.

While Oslo and Brussels reached such an agreement, the EU and Norway still had to find common ground with Britain.

As a compromise was not reached with London by the deadline set at the end of March, the EU adopted temporary quotas until July 31 for waters shared with Britain.

Tensions have resurfaced in recent days, with European fishermen complaining about London’s tardiness in issuing fishing permits for the zone off the British coast.


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