Faroe Island's Fishery Cooperation With Russia Up For Discussion

Utsikt over Tórshavn, Færøyene.
Tórshavn. Faroe Islands: Fishery is by far the most important industry on the Faroe Islands, and together with aquaculture, it provides approximately 95 percent of the country's export earnings. (Photo: Arne List/Wikimedia Commons).

Increasing political pressure causes the Faroe Islands to now reevaluate their fishery cooperation with Russia. This week, the Faroese Head of Home Rule Govt will meet the Norwegian Prime minister and the two will probably discuss the issue.

The Faroese Head of Home Rule Government Bárður á Steig Nielsen will meet Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre Wednesday for conversations in Oslo. The archipelago's fishery cooperation with Russia will likely be the subject of discussion.

The Faroe Islands' fishery cooperation with Russia is currently up for assessment. As High North News has previously covered, the archipelago which is under Danish rule will renegotiate its agreement with Russia before the new year.

The agreement allows Faroese fishing vessels to fish for cod in the Barents Sea, while Russians can fish pelagic fish such as herring and mackerel in Faroese waters.

Increased political pressure

As High North News has previously reported, the Faroe Islands' Minister for Culture, Foreign Affairs, and Education Jenis av Rana (Center) wishes in to stop the fishery cooperation with Russia after the country's partial mobilization for the Ukraine war that started a few weeks ago.

Nielsen has also steered towards a stricter course in accordance with the sanctions against Russia. A couple of weeks ago, Nielsen invited all parties in the Faroese Parliament (Løgting) to a meeting to discuss whether the Faroe Islands should continue the fishery agreement with Russia.

According to Nielsen, there must come an end to the course the Faroe Islands took when Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014 and harsh EU sanctions were implemented. The Faroe Islands, which are not members of the EU, chose to maintain trade with Russia, writes editor Andreas Krog in an analysis in the Danish newspaper Altinget.

Awaiting measures

"The Faroese will meet with the Norwegian government this week to hear how they are handling the situation," writes editor Krog.

"However, the business interests are so great that the idea of a fishery agreement with Russia has not yet been rejected", he adds.

Like Norway, the Faroe Islands have introduced a port ban against Russian ships, with the exception of Russian fishing vessels. This is to preserve the bilateral fishery cooperation with Russia and the management of the fish stocks between the two countries," writes the Faroese government.

The Norwegian government recently decided to limit the calls of Russian fishing vessels in Norwegian ports. Russian fishing vessels may only call at the ports of Tromsø, Båtsfjord, and Kirkenes, and must be inspected upon arrival.

HNN has been in contact with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the visit. Communications manager Anne Kristin Hjukse says in a comment that the Norwegian Prime Minister and the Faroese Head of Home Rule Government will discuss topics of common interest to Norway and the Faroe Islands, such as fishery and business cooperation.

This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen.