EU and NORWAY - A new arrangement on the management of shared fish stocks in the North Sea was concluded in London between the European Union and Norway for 2014.
Total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for the shared stocks in the North Sea were established and an agreement was also reached on the exchange of reciprocal fishing possibilities in each other's waters.
This arrangement involves an increase of five per cent in the TAC for North Sea cod and 15 per cent for North Sea plaice compared to 2013. However, the TACs for North Sea haddock, saithe and whiting have been reduced by 15 per cent with the herring TAC in the same area being reduced by two per cent.
Following the arrangement on mackerel among the three Coastal States (EU, Faroe Islands and Norway), which was also signed in London, the EU quota for mackerel in 2014 amounts to 611,205 tonnes.
EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said: “I very much welcome this agreement, which will allow fishermen from both the European Union and Norway to have valuable access to fish stocks. This agreement very much strengthens the mutual relationship in fisheries between the European Union and Norway.”
Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead commented:“Our fishing industry still faces significant challenges, with our fleet having to endure cuts to quotas while at the same time working towards a landing obligation and reducing discards. However, I welcome the end of these talks and I am pleased that the negotiations managed to significantly mitigate reductions in some of our key traditional stocks of haddock and whiting.
“The five per cent increase in cod quotas, while slightly less than hoped for, puts an end to the nonsensical cut proposal that would have simply resulted in an increase in discards."
Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, also commented: “This deal has now led to the signing of an agreement between the EU and Norway on North Sea quota share arrangements for vitally important whitefish stocks such as cod, haddock, whiting and saithe, with access for Scottish boats into Norwegian waters now coming into operation with immediate effect.
“It also brings forward the likelihood of Scottish whitefish boats gaining access to Faroese waters, which has been denied to them for the past four years because of the mackerel dispute.”