On Friday night, EU reached agreements with Norway and UK on fishing opportunities for 2024.

The agreement with the United Kingdom covers 85 total allowable catches in the North East Atlantic. It ensures a fishing capacity of almost 388,000 tonnes for the EU fleet, whose value is estimated at around €1 billion based on historical wholesale prices, adjusted for inflation.

The agreement will contribute to the sustainable management of fisheries stocks, which are jointly managed by the parties, and to ensure stability and predictability for fleets and operators.

The agreement was reached under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement following the fourth annual consultation between the two sides on fishing opportunities. The EU has based its positions on its legal framework, including multiannual sea basin plans. The negotiations were based on the best available scientific advice on the state of fish stocks. Socio-economic parameters were also taken into account to avoid restrictive quota situations that would lead to premature closure of certain fisheries.

In addition, a tripartite agreement between the EU, Norway and the UK on jointly managed fisheries stocks in the North Sea sets a total allowable catch of more than 915,000 tonnes in 2024, covering an EU quota of almost 415,000 tonnes of cod, haddock, black cod, Atlantic hake, Atlantic halibut and herring.

Finally, the EU and Norway concluded bilateral consultations on shared stocks in the North Sea and Skagerrak, as well as quota swaps. The three bilateral agreements concern the exchange of quotas, mutual access to fishing in the other side’s waters and the setting of quotas in the Skagerrak and Kattegat sea areas.

The two sides ensured an ambitious balance in the exchange of fishing opportunities of major economic interest. Among other stocks, the EU will receive 9,983 tonnes of Arctic cod for 2024, while transferring 48,000 tonnes of Arctic char to Norway.

The agreed catch limits will be submitted for incorporation into the 2024 fishing opportunities regulation during the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting which started yesterday and continues today.

Lena Flitzani