UK and Norwegian governments have today (30 September 2019) signed an agreement to ensure UK fishermen can continue to access and catch fish in Norwegian waters after the UK leaves the EU on 31 October.
Currently the UK fleet fishes in Norwegian waters under an agreement between the EU and Norway. When the UK leaves the EU and becomes an independent coastal state this current agreement will cease, however the agreement signed today ensures that the existing arrangements between the two countries will remain in place until the end of 2019.
Both the UK and Norway are committed to continuing to work together, providing certainty for their respective industries and managing shared fish stocks sustainably.
These arrangements will:
honour the existing access arrangements agreed, in as far as they concern the UK and Norway
ensure that appropriate licencing, control and enforcement provisions are in place, following the model agreed by the EU and Norway, to enable fishing opportunities to continue to be enjoyed by both the UK and Norway for the remainder of 2019
honour the management decisions that were made with Norway for 2019 for North Sea stocks that are jointly managed
honour the existing quota exchanges for 2019, and existing access arrangements between the two countries.
In further preparation for exit day, a new licensing authority – the Single Issuing Authority (SIA) – has also been set up jointly by the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland administrations. This will ensure fishermen have the correct licences to fish legally after leaving the EU.
The SIA is calling on vessel owners in the over 12-metre fleet to ensure their vessel has an IMO number, which will be needed to fish outside UK waters when we leave the EU.
Owners of vessels are urged to register now for an IMO number from the International Maritime Organisation to enable the timely processing of the subsequent licensing documentation.
- The newly-signed arrangement will ensure continuity until end of 2019. Arrangements for 2020 onwards are currently being negotiated.