UK, Faroe Islands reach agreement on 2022 fishing opportunities

A boat sailing near the Faroe Islands.

The United Kingdom and the Faroe Islands have secured exchanges of commercial fishing opportunities for this year, which will see the former benefit from, among other things, 1,000 metric tons (MT) of cod and haddock, while the same volume of horse mackerel is transferred to the Faroese fleet.

Also included in the U.K. stocks transferred to the Faroes are 750 MT of Greenland halibut, 186 MT of cod, 400 MT of haddock, 300 MT of ling and 500 MT of blue ling.

According to U.K. officials, the cod and haddock transferred to the country’s fishing industry is worth approximately GBP 2.2 million (USD 3 million, EUR 2.6 million), while 1,250 MT of Atlantic pollock is worth around GBP 1.3 million (USD 1.8 million, EUR 1.5 million). The fleet will also have access to some GBP 2 million (USD 2.7 million, EUR 2.4 million) worth of ling, blue ling, redfish, flatfish, and other species.

In total, it is estimated that the 2022 opportunities delivered for the U.K. are worth GBP 2 million more than under the previous E.U. arrangements.

“I am pleased to announce that we have concluded negotiations with the Faroe Islands, securing a fair and balanced agreement on fishing arrangements for 2022,” U.K. Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis said. “Negotiating as an independent coastal state, we have secured a better deal that will provide U.K. fleets with GBP 5.5 million (USD 7.5 million, EUR 6.5 million) worth of fishing opportunities, including high priority stocks like cod and haddock.”

The agreement also includes the potential for an increase in opportunities for the U.K. fishing industry during 2022, which could see the total value rise to GBP 7.75 million (USD 10.5 million, EUR 9.2 million). 

In previous years, bilateral negotiations with the Faroe Islands were led by the European Commission on behalf of the United Kingdom and other E.U. member states.

"This is another important step as we continue to grow as an independent coastal state,” U.K. Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said. “Scottish whitefish vessels will be a big beneficiary of this deal but it's good news for the fishing sector across Scotland and the U.K. more widely as we help to deliver a sustainable and profitable future for this vital industry.”

The new agreement does not impact the United Kingdom’s bilateral negotiations with the E.U., which concluded on 21 December 2021 and focused on the setting of total allowable catches (TACs) for bilateral U.K.-E.U. stocks and a range of related technical measures. 

U.K. vessels wishing to fish in Faroese waters in 2022 and with an allocation to do so will be able to apply for an external waters license via the UK Single Issuing Authority (UKSIA).  

Photo courtesy of Nowaczyk/Shutterstock


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