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EU extends fishing quotas shared with UK pending final agreement

Christian Fernsby |
The European Union (EU) member states' fisheries ministers agreed Tuesday on a four-month extension to the fishing quotas shared with the United Kingdom (UK) while negotiations continue with a view to reaching a definitive agreement with London.

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Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, stressed in a press statement issued after the meeting that the agreement on the provisional quotas was a "workable compromise" that gave Brussels time to continue negotiating with London.

"After a long day and night of negotiations, the (Agriculture and Fisheries) Council has found a workable compromise, very closely aligned with the Commission's proposal. The agreement foresees provisional TACs (total allowable catches) until 31 July, generally at the corresponding level of seven-twelfths of the EU's share of the 2021 scientific advice," he said, describing the compromise as "plan B."

The current quotas, as agreed in the Brexit agreement in December last year, are due to expire on March 31.

Sinkevicius said he hoped that the provisional quotas would have "a very short life" and that they could soon be replaced with definitive TACs once the consultations with the UK are concluded.

"Over the last week, we have progressed significantly in the EU-UK consultations and we did it in a constructive atmosphere. Thus I remain optimistic that very soon we will succeed with our plan A and be able to implement it speedily in the form of definitive TACs," he said.

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