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Photo: fiskeri.no.Photo: fiskeri.no

Quota negotiations with other countries

11.12.2012 // Around 90 per cent of Norway’s fisheries are based on stocks that are shared with other states. For the majority of the most important fish stocks, quota levels are set through international negotiations. Norway has a series of agreements with adjacent countries.

For example, Norway has such agreements with Russia, the European Union, Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands, of which the agreements with EU and Russia are considered the most important ones. These negotiations take place on an annual basis, normally during the autumn. 

The cooperation with Russia takes place in the framework of the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission, which sets the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the shared stocks of cod, haddock, Greenland halibut, and capelin in the Barents Sea.  Since the late 1990s the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission has sought to implement a precautionary approach – based on the scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, ICES. Most of the shared stocks are now subject to long-term management plans.

The enforcement of fisheries regulations in the area suffered due to the prevalence of IUU (illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing) fisheries of cod until 2007. However, the IUU fisheries have now been reduced significantly, and in the years 2009- 2011, only marginal overfishing was reported.  This is a watershed in the resource management of the Barents Sea. For 2013 the quota of cod is set to an all time high of 1 million tonnes, confirming that the cooperation between Norway and Russia is working and showing  that the resource management in the Barents Sea is very good.  

Cooperation with the EU on the management of joint stocks

The cooperation with the EU on the management of joint stocks in the North Sea involves a number of shared stocks, and a substantial system of quota exchanges.

The cooperation involves access for EU vessels to fish quotas for Norwegian-Arctic cod in the Barents Sea, in return for corresponding access for Norwegian vessels in EU waters. This arrangement originates in pre-Exclusive Economic Zone fishing patterns and the exchange is intended to maintain a balance in the fishing opportunities provided.  The cooperation also involves development of long-term management plans for certain joint stocks such as cod, haddock, saithe and herring.

Such management regimes are intended to ensure prudent management of fish stocks, and also to contribute to stable framework conditions for the fishing industry.  At the same time, the control and enforcement of fisheries regulations is addressed by the cooperation. Norway has a close cooperation with the European Commission on the issue of addressing IUU-fishing. The process of co-operation with the EU and member states regarding control of pelagic landings has developed in a very positive direction with regards to the effective management of the resources.


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