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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement8 January 2021Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries2 min read

EU and Greenland reach agreement on new fisheries partnership

On 8 January 2021, the EU and Greenland concluded negotiations for a new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) and a new Protocol that will strengthen their cooperation in the fisheries sector for the next four years with the possibility of a two-year extension.

The agreement is a new important milestone in the long-standing bilateral cooperation between the EU and Greenland in fisheries and renews their commitment in promoting a sustainable use of marine resources. This is the only mixed Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) in the North Atlantic, and the third most important agreement in place for the EU in financial terms. It will allow the EU fleet (12 large-scale industrial trawlers) to continue fishing in Greenland waters for a duration of 4+2 years while continuing to contribute to the development of the fisheries sector in Greenland.

Fishing opportunities have been negotiated for the same species as in the current protocol (Cod, Redfish, Greenland Halibut, Northern Prawn, Capelin and Grenadier). Fishing opportunities for Mackerel have also been included in the agreement at a 0 TAC level. Any quota of Mackerel transferred by Greenland in the future will be dependent on Greenland signing the Coastal States Sharing Arrangement on the management of mackerel with the EU. 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 EU will provide Greenland with an annual financial contribution of €16 500 000. A significant part of this contribution, €2 900 000 per year, is specifically earmarked to promote the development of the fisheries sector in Greenland. For the whole duration of the protocol, the estimated value amounts to €99 000 000. Additionally EU ship-owners will pay license fees for the fishing opportunities.

This new SFPA represents an important step forward in the partnership between the EU and Greenland, which dates back to 1985. The new agreement upholds the principles of the common fisheries policy such as transparency, governance of fishing activities, non-discrimination, respect of the scientific advice and scientific cooperation on data collection and analysis. It complies with Greenland’s legislation and the management and scientific measures taken in the context of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO), Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Through the new SFPA, cooperation on monitoring, control and surveillance on fishing activities will be further reinforced.

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


Publication date
8 January 2021
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries