The main decisions include:
- Starting in 2011, a 10-year management plan for the mackerel stock, in which Scotland’s pelagic (mid water) fleet is the principal player. In accordance with the scientific advice there will be a five per cent decrease in Total Allowable Catches (TAC) for 2010.
- Agreement on the seven jointly managed stocks, with TAC set in accordance with the stocks science and managements plans. This includes a 16 per cent increase in cod, and 15 per cent decreases in haddock and whiting.
Commenting on the agreement Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation said: “Agreement has finally been reached between the EU and Norway on joint fisheries arrangements for 2010. The process – which normally takes three weeks and concludes well before Christmas - has finally ended after a total of six separate weeks of negotiation.
“The sticking point all along has been the matter of access to EU waters for Norway to complete fishing its quota of mackerel, and in return a reasonable longer term bilateral arrangement for the continued sustainable fishing of this very important stock. Normally settled on an annual basis the new agreement will cover a 10 year period, reviewed after five years. This will give some needed certainty to the fishery.
“The matter of access to each others water is an important issue as no nation will want to feel that arrangements applying to others fishing in their waters - and to their own vessels fishing traditional waters elsewhere – is anything other than fair and equitable. Not every detail will suit everyone; such is the complexity of the nature of the arrangements.
“Agreement has been reached also on those stocks jointly managed with Norway, including, importantly for Scotland’s whitefish fleet, cod haddock and whiting in the North Sea, and on the balance of fish transferred every year between the EU and Norway in the normal course of events.”