EU, Norway suspend quota talks
The second round of fishing talks between the EU and Norway have concluded without a bilateral agreement being reached on how shared stocks will be fished.
It became clear on 6 December that the talks would not conclude this week, discussions were suspended last night and talks will reconvene early in the New Year.
The EU-Norway agreement has substantial implications for Scotland – including 2013 quota decisions on North Sea cod and herring, as well as the catch limit for mackerel due to the absence of agreement with Iceland and Faroes.
“While a signed and sealed EU-Norway deal would mean greater certainty on fishing opportunities next year for many Scottish fishermen, what is most important is that we achieve the right outcome to support sustainable fishing in our shared waters,” said Richard Lochhead, Scottish Fisheries Secretary. “North Sea cod is one of the key stocks this agreement covers and once again it has become apparent this week that the European Commission is pressing for an unjustifiable 20 percent quota cut. We have made clear to the commission — with support from some other member states — that we cannot accept this.
“I’m hopeful that when these talks reconvene our key concerns over cod and mackerel are addressed. And with the EU December Council fast approaching, I’m fully preparing to stand up for our fishermen and fight for a fair outcome for Scotland.”