Allocation of Fishing Rights in the NEA

Discussion paper

image of Allocation of Fishing Rights in the NEA

This discussion paper aims to initiate an informed debate in the Nordic countries and elsewhere on how to allocate the trans-boundary fish stocks in the North East Atlantic in the future and how to resolve possible allocation conflicts. The paper maps the current legal framework and international fisheries agreements in the North East Atlantic Ocean which forms the basis for allocation agreements. It considers the relevance of the biological status of the fish stocks and the economic situation of the coastal states in the area for the allocation of fishing rights and further proposes a dynamic allocation methodology and a decision making process including the handling of allocation conflicts. The paper is compiled by an inter-disciplinary Nordic group of fisheries experts.




Sustainable exploitation of marine resources requires that overall fishing pressure is kept within sustainable limits. This report is about sharing this resource between the fishing nations and does not address setting the overall harvest which is often formulated in terms of a Total Allowable Catch (TAC). Without sharing arrangements the sum of individual national quotas risks exceeding sustainable limits and therefore sustainable management requires an agreed allocation system. Marine biomass such as fish is a basic natural capital asset. It should be managed to provide the highest possible return to ensure food supply and sustain economies.


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