In what comes as a first for the UK as an independent coastal state, a new trilateral fisheries agreement between the UK, Norway and the European Union (EU) was announced earlier this week (16 March 2021).
Hailed by the UK government as promoting the sustainable management and long-term viability of cod, haddock, plaice, whiting, herring and saithe stocks in the North Sea, the deal (reported to be worth around £184 million to the UK economy) could also be seen as an initial step towards stabilising significant fishing waters since the UK's exit from the EU on 31 December 2020.
Catch limits and sustainability
In support of increasing sustainability of fish stocks, the deal contains a number of agreed catch limits in relation to different species, with clear consideration being given to the sustainable limits previously advised by the scientific body, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). It is hoped that agreeing such catch limits will encourage the recovery of key fish stocks in the North Sea generally.
In announcing the deal, the UK government also pointed to the ongoing "cod avoidance plan" which applies to all vessels in UK waters. The plan includes a range of measures aimed at supporting the long-term recovery of fish stocks in UK waters, including the imposition of "real-time closures" in specified zones.
Marine Economy Week 2021 - get involved
Next week, Harper Macleod is hosting it's first Marine Economy Week, which will cover all areas of the sector in Scotland.
On Wednesday, our attention will turn to trading post Brexit, with our specialists joined by Trond Hatland, who heads up the Bergen office of Norwegian law firm Thommessen AS and is a specialist advising that country's fishery and aquaculture sector.
You can find out more or register for the webinar using the link below