EU, Greenland ink new fisheries partnership agreement

Negotiations have concluded for a new sustainable fisheries partnership agreement (SFPA) and protocol between the European Union and Greenland that will strengthen their cooperation in the fisheries sector for the next four years, with the possibility of a two-year extension.

According to the European Commission, the agreement is “a new important milestone” in the long-standing bilateral cooperation between the E.U. and Greenland on fisheries issues, and renews their commitment in promoting a sustainable use of marine resources.

The only mixed SFPA in the North Atlantic, and the third-most important agreement in place for the E.U. in financial terms, it will allow the E.U. fleet – comprised of 12 large-scale industrial trawlers – to continue fishing in Greenland waters for a duration of four years (with the potential for two more years), while continuing to contribute to the development of Greenland’s fisheries sector.

Fishing opportunities have been negotiated for the same species as in the current protocol, namely cod, redfish, Greenland halibut, northern prawn, capelin, and grenadier, alongside the new addition of mackerel.

Any mackerel quota transferred by Greenland in the future will be dependent on Greenland signing the Coastal States Sharing Arrangement on the management of mackerel with the E.U. The reference prices have also been updated, using a methodology agreed between both parties and taking into account current market prices.

Based on the fishing opportunities and the newly negotiated reference prices, the E.U. will provide Greenland with an annual financial contribution of EUR 16.5 million (USD 20.1 million), with EUR 2.9 million (USD 3.5 million) per year specifically earmarked to promote Greenland’s fisheries development. 

For the whole duration of the protocol, the estimated value amounts to EUR 99 million (USD 120.4 million). Additionally, E.U. shipowners will pay license fees for fishing opportunities.

The new SFPA complies with Greenland’s legislation and the management and scientific measures taken in the context of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

Each party will now initiate the necessary legislative procedures for the signature and conclusion of the new agreement and its implementing protocol.

Photo courtesy of T. Terziev/Shutterstock


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