International fisheries negotiations

Approximately ninety percent of Norwegian fisheries involve stocks which Norway manages along with other coastal states. The parties' fishing quotas are allocated in negotiations. 

Every autumn Norway negotiates fishing quotas with Russia and the EU, as well as Iceland, the Faeroe Islands and Greenland. The Norwegian delegations are represented by the authorities, marine scientists and the fishing industry. The agreements with Russia and the EU are the most extensive. In addition, Norway is bound by agreements concluded in the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC).


Parties determines total allowable quotas in annual commission meetings, while the quotas are allocated to Norway, Russia and third countries. At the same time mutual access to each other's fishing zones is agreed, as well as exchange quotas in common stocks and domestic stocks. The total quotas are based on recommendations on the exploitation level from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), where both Norwegian and Russian scientists participate.

Quota agreements establish key regulatory and control measures to ensure the sustainable management of fish resources.

The Norwegian-Russian cooperation on fisheries is considered to be very successful.


The bilateral fisheries agreement between Norway and the EU states that parties must allow each other's fishing vessels to fish within their jurisdiction. The parties also undertake to cooperate in the management and protection of marine resources.

The fishing, which is regulated in the annual quota agreements between Norway and the EU, applies to the joint stocks in the North Sea, Skagerrak and Norwegian fishing west of the British Isles, and the EU's fishing in Norwegian economic zone.

The parties cooperate closely on resource management. Although it has provided results, some unresolved issues remain. Among other things, it is problematic that the parties manage stocks in the North Sea and Skagerrak in different ways.

The North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC)

The NEAFC is intended to contribute to the development of effective regional control regimes, and a more ecosystem-based management of marine areas. The NEAFC applies to basically all fish resources in the area, with the exception of marine mammals and migratory species such as tuna that are covered by other international agreements. The NEAFC coordinates regulation of fishing on stocks that migrate between the parties' economic zones and the open sea. It applies to mackerel, blue whiting, Norwegian spring-spawning herring and redfish. Coastal state agreements are concluded for these stocks.

The NEAFC actively works to adapt to developments in international maritime law on precautionary and ecosystem management. The protection of vulnerable marine habitats are important topics.

The NEAFC has created a blacklist of vessels that can not fish in the NEAFC area, or that have received fish from such vessels. The rules apply to vessels not flying the flag of one of the NEAFC's member countries. Blacklisted vessels can not put to port, receive service or supplies, or make crew changes, etc. in member state ports.

The NEAFC secretariat is in London, and consists of Denmark (on behalf of the Faeroe Islands and Greenland), the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Russia.


More on fisheries cooperation with Russia (in Norwegian).

More on fisheries cooperation with the EU (in Norwegian). 

NEAFC website.