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The UK has reached an agreement with Norway to secure increased opportunities for the UK industry/" 1951 target="_blank">fishing industry in 2023.

A fishing vessel in Aberdeen harbour.

UK fishing vessels will have access to key fish stocks under the new deal.

The UK industry/" 1951 target="_blank">fishing industry will benefit from increased fishing opportunities worth nearly £5 million in 2023 after reaching an agreement with Norway to secure access to key fishing stocks for UK vessels, Defra has announced today (Friday 25 November 2022).

The deal secures quota of valuable North Sea whitefish stocks worth nearly £3 million and in arctic stocks worth nearly £2 million for 2023, and also ensures UK vessels have access to Norwegian waters to fish their own demersal and pelagic quota.

The UK and Norway negotiate annually on access to each other’s waters, quota exchanges and control and enforcement measures.

This deal builds on the close relationship and cooperation between the UK and Norway and will continue to support a sustainable and economically viable industry/" 1951 target="_blank">fishing industry by:

  • extending arrangements agreed last year on mutual access, with the UK industry/" 1951 target="_blank">fishing industry having access to 30,000 tonnes of whitefish stocks such as cod, haddock and hake in the North Sea.

  • granting access to fish up to 20,000 tonnes each of herring in our respective waters.

  • securing over 1,100 tonnes of quota transfers from Norway of key UK stocks.

  • providing 750 tonnes of cod quota for the UK to fish in Norway’s arctic waters.

Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer said:

Under the Fisheries Act 2020, the UK is able to negotiate deals that support a profitable and sustainable UK industry/" 1951 target="_blank">fishing industry, while safeguarding our marine environment for future generations.

I’m delighted to reach a deal with Norway for 2023 which gives UK fishing vessels access to key fish stocks and quota in the North Sea and Arctic, and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with Norway and other coastal States to manage fishing sustainably.

The agreement highlights both parties’ continued commitment to manage fisheries sustainably and support the long-term viability of stocks in the North Sea. It sits alongside a separate arrangement the UK has with Norway under which we expect over 5,200 tonnes of additional arctic opportunities to be transferred to the UK in 2023. In total, this should provide the UK fleet with over 6000 tonnes of fishing opportunities in arctic waters.

Throughout the negotiations, the UK Government worked closely with the devolved administrations to ensure that all fishing communities across the UK will benefit from the agreement.

Notes to editors:

  • Trilateral negotiations between the UK, Norway and the EU are still ongoing. In these annual negotiations, the UK agrees catch limits for the following year for six jointly managed fish stocks in the North Sea with Norway and the EU.
  • This agreement does not impact the UK’s bilateral negotiations with the EU. Those negotiations continue and are focussed on the setting of total allowable catches (TACs) for bilateral stocks between the UK and the EU and a range of related technical measures.

Published 25 November 2022

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