Today (21 December 2021) the UK, negotiating as an independent coastal State, has reached an agreement with Norway on fisheries access and quotas for 2022. These discussions mark the start of a new arrangement between the UK and Norway, in which both parties permit some access to each other’s waters and exchange a number of fish quotas in the North Sea and the Arctic.

The agreement on mutual access will allow respective fleets more flexibility to target the stocks in the best condition throughout the fishing year, supporting a more sustainable and economically viable fishing industry.

The UK fishing industry will gain access to 30,000 tonnes of whitefish stocks, such as cod, haddock and hake, in the North Sea, providing a welcome boost for 2022.

Norway will allocate the UK 6,550 tonnes of cod around Svalbard. In total, that means the UK can fish over 7,000 tonnes of cod in the arctic, estimated to be worth around £16 million. This is 1,500 tonnes more than in 2021.

The agreement highlights both parties’ continued commitment to manage fisheries sustainably and support the long-term viability of stocks in the North Sea.

Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis said: 

I am pleased to announce that we have concluded bilateral negotiations between the UK and Norway, securing an agreement on fishing arrangements for 2022 including the establishment of a mutual North Sea waters access zone.

This will provide fishing opportunities for the UK fleet and it ensures a strong balance that will benefit both our fishing industry and the protection of our marine environment.  

Norway is an extremely close partner of the UK, and we deeply value our relationship with them. We have a longstanding history of cooperation and collaboration and I look forward to building on this partnership in the years to come.

Recalling their longstanding cooperation and collaboration, the two delegations have also agreed to ensure that relevant information and data is exchanged to promote effective fisheries management and control and enforcement efforts in the North Sea.  

Throughout the negotiations, the UK government worked closely with the devolved administrations to ensure that all of the UK fishing industry will benefit from the agreement. 

UK vessels wishing to fish in Norway waters in 2022 and with an allocation to do so will be able to apply for an external waters licence via the UK Single Issuing Authority (UKSIA). Guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/united-kingdom-single-issuing-authority-uksia

Further information:

  • The UK agreed catch limits for 2022 for six jointly managed fish stocks in the North Sea with Norway and the European Union on 10 December.
  • 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 UK-EU stocks and a range of related technical measures.

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    UK secures fishing access and quotas with Norway

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