The fisheries agreement is a vital deal in order to secure the rich waters in the North Sea. The waters in the North Sea are jointly managed by both Norway and the EU due to an agreement signed in 1980. In a major boost for Britain’s fishing industry, the UK and Norway are ready to sign a “framework agreement” on the waters today.
The Norwegian government stated will govern control measures, licences and research, and also facilitates a mutual exchange of quotas and access to waters.
Politico had reported: “The agreement would be the first fish deal Britain has struck since it left the EU in January last year.”
UK fishermen are incredibly reliant on fish from the North Sea, and according to Government figures from 2017, the waters were the most profitable catchment area for fishermen.
The Agreement on fisheries between the EU and Norway is still in effect, and includes the management of stocks, access and exchange arrangements.
Not only do UK fishermen heavily use the North Sea but an agreement is also crucial for Norwegian fleets to be able to use Britain’s waters.
Norway has often been used as a comparison of what the UK’s fisheries agreement with the EU could look like.
The state holds annual agreements with the EU in order to discuss access and quota levels.
Due to the UK’s rich exclusive economic zone, Brussels is keen to maintain access area in order to avoid a huge blow to its fleets, namely France.
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Domestically, the UK has introduced a Fisheries Bill to ensure fish stocks, and the marine environment, are better protected.
The bill allows the UK powers to operate as a coastal state and manage its fish stocks now free from the EU.
The legislation has passed through the Commons and is currently scheduled to head for the report stage of the Parliament process.
After this, the bill will pass for its final reading before being considered for amendments.
Once completes, this will be passed for royal assent before enshrined into UK law.
Fisheries minister, Victoria Prentis, said: “This Bill offers us the opportunity to set a gold standard for sustainable fisheries and gives us the powers to protect our precious fish stocks while enabling our seafood sector to thrive.