The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, and Norway have agreed on the levels of fishing possibilities for the seven joint fish stocks in the North Sea.

The negotiations took place in a very positive and constructive climate, the commission said. In agreeing to the fishing possibilities, the parties took into account the latest scientific advice and the need to ensure sustainable fisheries. The two parties have agreed on the implementation of a long-term management plan for cod which will come into effect when the stock has returned to safe biological levels.

There are currently four joint multi-annual plans in place for cod, haddock, saithe and herring. Significant progress has been made in strengthening control and enforcement so as to fight illegal fishing activities. There have been increases in transfers of fishing possibilities from Norway to the Union.

“I welcome this agreement with Norway which was concluded in a constructive atmosphere,” said Joe Borg, responsible for fisheries and maritime affairs. “The continued co-operation with Norway shows our common determination to secure the future of fisheries and to fight illegal fishing practices.”