The first negotiations on shared fisheries between Norway, the EU and the UK began earlier this week. Under normal circumstances, talks would have taken place and been concluded at the end of last year – but 2020 has been anything but a normal year.
In the past Norway and the have negotiated North Sea fishing access for cod, haddock, saithe, herring and other stocks, but this year the UK is also present as a coastal state in its own right for the first time. Extended Brexit negotiations with the EU last year inevitably delayed the start of tripartite talks for 2021’s North Sea fisheries.
“I am glad that the fisheries negotiations can finally start. We look forward to establishing a good relationship between the three parties in the North Sea,” said Norway’s Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.
“Several fish stocks in the North Sea migrate between Norway, the EU and the United Kingdom. It is therefore important that we jointly agree on total quotas and management measures so that we can ensure sustainable management of these fish stocks.”
The negotiation meetings are attended by representatives from the administrative authorities and business interests in the EU, the United Kingdom and Norway.
On the Norwegian side, the delegation consists of representatives at official level from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (NFD), the Directorate of Fisheries and the Institute of Marine Research, as well as the Norwegian delegation to the EU and the Norwegian Embassy in the United Kingdom.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Ann Kristin Westberg heads the Norwegian delegation.
“We hope to reach the end of the negotiations quickly, but given the circumstances, it can not be ruled out that this may take some time. This is the first time we will negotiate on a trilateral basis,” Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen said, adding that due to Covid-19 precautions, negotiations are held remotely, with around 140 delegates from EU Member States, Norway and the United Kingdom taking part.