Wednesday, 13 January 2021

The EU and the UK have distributed several fish species without giving anything to Norway.


"There are many challenges to be solved and that it will be necessary to spend time to get to port," says Audun Maråk ahead of the negotiations between Norway, the EU and the UK on Tuesday. Here are the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. Photo: EC Audio Visual Service The EU and the UK have distributed several fish species without giving anything to Norway. Resources are already tough before the fisheries negotiations between the EU, the UK and Norway start digitally on Tuesday afternoon.

The Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK show that the parties have already distributed one hundred percent of the total quota on anglerfish, hake and Norway pout before they sit down at the negotiating table with Norway.

Norway will have shares of these fish species and it is therefore totally unacceptable and contrary to the law of the sea that we should not be met with quotas as we have had all along, says Audun Maråk, CEO of the association Fiskebåt. He is part of the Norwegian delegation to the negotiations.

First negotiation most important

Audun Maråk, CEO of Fiskebåt Photo: Torhild Måkestad Martinussen Thus, the battle for resources is underway before negotiations between all three parties have begun. Maråk, who has a very long sailing time from such negotiations, says that there are many challenges to be solved and that it will be necessary to spend time to get to port.

"There is no doubt that the first negotiations like this are especially important to show the way forward. What we had to lose now, it is difficult to win back in later negotiations," says Maråk.

Stumbling blocks in the first round

Ann Kristin Westberg from the Ministry of Trade and Industry is the experienced leader of the Norwegian negotiating delegation.

In the first week, all three parties are in place in negotiations on the management of the total quotas for the various fish species. Already here are stumbling blocks such as the distribution the EU and the UK have carried out of all anglerfish, hake and eyeballs. Nevertheless, this is expected to be easier to reach agreement on, as there is usually agreement to adhere to the TAC (total quota) as a basis for total quotas.

Bilateral negotiations

Following the joint negotiations, bilateral negotiations will begin between two of the three parties next week. Here there will be a tug-of-war over zone access and quota exchange in separate negotiations between Norway and the EU and Norway and the United Kingdom

"We are concerned about the results we have from the negotiations with the EU in the agreements that have been used as a basis so far. In these agreements, there is ample room for zone access and agreement on quota exchange. Now it will be a balancing act to get an equally good agreement with both parties separately as we have had with the EU as a whole," says Maråk.

Does not accept poorer access He has a clear message to the UK in particular if they choose to tighten zone access for Norwegian fishermen and change quotas. Among other things, Norway has used the zone access with the EU to fish most of the mackerel in recent years in the current British zone.

"If it turns out that zone access to Norway will be tightened, Norway will clearly require larger mackerel and blue whiting stocks than we have today. We can not accept that we are allocated poorer zone access and that we must at the same time keep the distribution that is the basis now," says Audun Maråk.

The debate

There is a lot at stake in the negotiations. While previously there were only 50 people in the negotiations between the EU and Norway from political parties, administration and industry, there are now 140 people to participate in the negotiations.

Norway retains a delegation of 15–20 people, which will be the smallest delegation in the negotiations, the United Kingdom has a larger troop, while the EU has by far the largest delegation.

"We bet that it is not the size of the delegations that will be decisive, but the argumentation in factual negotiations where the professional justification is used as a basis for the results that come," says Audun Maråk.

Delayed negotiations

Skjalg Bøhmer Violence The Minister of Fisheries is also clear:

"I am glad that the fisheries negotiations can finally start. We look forward to establishing a good relationship between three parties in the North Sea," says Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen in a press release from the government about the negotiations on joint stocks.

Due to the Brexit negotiations, fisheries negotiations for 2021 were delayed.

From the Norwegian side, the delegation will consist of representatives at official level from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (NFD), the Directorate of Fisheries and the Institute of Marine Research, as well as the Norwegian delegation to the EU and the Norwegian Embassy in the United Kingdom. Representatives from several business organizations are also participating in the negotiations.

"We hope to reach the end of the negotiations quickly, but given the circumstances, it can not be ruled out that this may take some time. This is the first time we will negotiate in a trilateral setting, which will also take place at a video conference as a result of the corona situation, says the Minister of Fisheries and Seafood."

Translated by Google from January 12, 2021 3:25 PM By Einar Lindbæk in Ålesund