Boris braced for NEW Brexit fishing war: 'We are facing the greatest challenge!'



    German fishermen are engaged in a bitter dispute with officials in Oslo over fishing quotas off the coast of Svalbard. Samuel Rodriguez Ortega from the German Deep Sea Fisheries Association has claimed the new post-Brexit fishing arrangements in the Arctic archipelago has resulted in a shortfall of around 7,000 tonnes of Cod – with the annual limit about to be exceeded.

    He said: “We are facing the greatest challenge in recent history.”

    The row comes as the UK is involved in an ongoing spat with France over the allocation of licences for EU vessels in British waters.

    The UK finally left the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy at the end of December 2020.

    As part of the Trade and Co-Operation Agreement, both sides agreed to conduct annual negotiations to determine the number of catches per species, which triggered changes to limits in Norwegian waters.

    Brussels allocated 24,645 tonnes for EU vessels fishing off Svalbard.

    But the figures were immediately disputed by Norway which argue it has exclusive rights to manage its waters.

    Officials in Oslo then reduced the number of EU catches around Svalbard to almost 18,000 tonnes.

    Mr Ortega said: “We’re talking about 7,000 tonnes of cod – Arctic Cod in these waters – and that’s substantial.”

    READ MORE: Brexit LIVE: Macron throws massive tantrum

    Talks between Norway and the EU broke down in September after both sides refused to budge.

    The Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries pledged to ban Cod fishing once the EU quota had been reached.

    Geir Pollestad, leader of the business committee, said: “If the EU continues fishing after the quotas have been filled, we must use measures such as fines, arrests or towing.

    “It is important that we as a country stand together in this type of case”

    A spokesperson for the European Commission said: “The EU expects Norway to respect the EU fishing rights in Svalbard waters, which include the right to fish the EU Arctic cod quota of 24,645 tonnes.

    “The EU maintains an open dialogue with the Norwegian counterparts at all levels.

    “The EU has also reiterated its willingness and readiness to further increase diplomatic efforts with Norway to get to an agreement on the fishing rights in the Svalbard waters and on the sustainable fisheries management of stocks occurring also in Svalbard waters.”

    Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.


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