Norway Slams EU’s Fishing Quota for Svalbard as ‘Unacceptable’

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Norway scolded the European Union for setting a unilateral quota in the fisheries protection zone off the island of Svalbard, threatening to use its coast guard to prevent what the Nordic nation called “illegal fishing.”

The development is the latest twist in a row involving the EU and the U.K. over fishing rights after Brexit. Triparty talks are still ongoing on fisheries agreements for this year.

Only Norway can allocate EU fishing quotas in the area, extending 200 nautical miles off the island far above the Arctic Circle, Seafood Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen said in a statement on Friday after meeting with the EU’s Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius.

“I have therefore made it clear to the EU that any fishing beyond Norway’s quota allocations will be illegal fishing and will be enforced by the Coast Guard in the usual way,” Ingebrigtsen said.

When calculating the 2021 cod quota for EU in the zone based on historic fishing, Norway subtracted the U.K.’s share, allocating a quota of 17,885 metric tons for the bloc.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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