The EU awarded 20 licenses to its own fishing vessels for catching snow crabs in Svalbard waters. Norway flatly declined to accept these licenses, and now the European Surveillance Authority has concluded that Norway was in its full right to do so.
While EU countries have referred to the EEA agreement and claim that Norway may not discriminate between domestic and EU vessels, the European Surveillance Authority (ESA), which monitors the EEA agreement and its implementation, says that it will not pursue the complaints, according to NRK Finnmark.
- The ESA has no reason to pursue this complaint as the EEA Agreement permits national restrictions in the fisheries sector, ESA President Sven Erik Svedman says in a statement.
Also read: The EU Questioned Norway on Snow Crabs
Norway’s refusal to accept the EU quotas has not been well received in Brussels.
- If the EU wants to fish snow crabs on the Norwegian shelf, there must be an agreement about swapping quotas in the bilateral fisheries negotiations between Norway and the EU, Norwegian Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg says.
- We have put this option on the table, however, the EU has chosen not to prioritize it in the negotiations, Sandberg says while adding: - We are still in a dialogue with the EU about the matter.