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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement17 December 2019Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

EU and Norway reach agreement on the fisheries arrangements for 2020

The EU and Norway have signed three fisheries arrangements for 2020 making this the largest fishing agreement in the north of Europe.

The parties signed two bilateral arrangements and a neighboring arrangement following three rounds of negotiations in November and December.. The bilateral arrangements cover the North Sea and the Atlantic, and Skagerrak and Kattegat, whilst the neighbouring arrangement covers the Swedish fishery in Norwegian waters of the North Sea.

The EU and Norway have agreed on quotas for the jointly-managed fish stocks in the North Sea (cod, haddock, plaice, whiting, herring, and saithe) and Skagerrak (cod, haddock, whiting, plaice, shrimp, herring and sprat), as well as an exchange of reciprocal fishing possibilities.

In the North Sea, 5 out of 6 stocks jointly-managed with Norway have been set in line with the ICES scientific advices, at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels. This results in quota reductions in 2020 for saithe (-15%) and whiting (-13%), but increases in haddock (+23%) and plaice (+17%). A roll-over was set for herring.

Concerning the North Sea cod stock, the EU had advocated for a strict application of the MSY approach for 2020, which would have resulted in a 61% TAC decrease. Unfortunately, the TAC was set at 17.679 tonnes (50% less than in 2019), a less ambitious decrease than the EU had hoped for. The two parties have however agreed to implement a range of additional measures, such as closures of areas and measures to protect adult and juvenile cod during the year. The EU will also implement a specific control and inspection programme to further reduce catches of juveniles.

The EU and Norway also agreed to roll-over last year’s agreement on quota exchanges. In particular, the EU received over 21,518 tonnes of Arctic cod.

These agreed arrangements will ensure continuation of fishing operations for both Parties in each other's waters from 1 January 2020.

For further details, read the agreed records.


Publication date
17 December 2019
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries