Greenland and Faroe Islands agree shared fishing quotas for next year

Greenland and the Faroe Islands have agreed on how much Greenlandic fishermen can catch in Faroese waters in 2012, and how much the Faroese fishing fleet will be able to take from Greenland’s waters.

Negotiators on the Greenlandic side have described the results of the meeting as “satisfactory”, Sermitsiaq reports.

The Greenland Department of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture sent representatives to negotiate with Faroese colleagues in Copenhagen. The two self-ruling countries have existing bilateral fishing agreements which allow both to catch and process fish species that might otherwise be unavailable to them.

The agreement for 2012 involves a reduction in the amount of Faroese herring the Greenlanders will be allowed to fish. Access to blue whiting remains unchanged for 2012 with 2,000 tonnes available to Greenlandic boats in Faroese waters. Greenland will once again have 60 days’ available fishing for bottom fish in the Faroese zone, a statement from the government in Nuuk states.

Faroese fishing access to Greenlandic waters is maintained unchanged next year.

At the start of negotiations, it appeared that Greenland would be forced to accept a very large decrease in the quota for herring, but after lengthy negotiations the Department of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture was able to secure a higher quota than expected.

The Greenland quota of Faroese herring goes from 3,000 tonnes to 2,350 tonnes. The decline in the assigned amount is down to lower Total Allowable Catch limits and market price trends for herring.

The Greenlandic and Faroese fishing industries were directly represented in the Copenhagen negotiations and the joint assessment of Greenlandic business representatives who participated in the negotiations, according to Sermitsiaq, is that the deal negotiated by the Department of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture for next year is “satisfactory”.

There is a great deal of cross-border co-operation in North Atlantic fishing.

Almost directly between the Faroe Islands and Greenland lies Iceland. Iceland was not part of this week’s negotiations but both countries also have bilateral fishing access deals with Iceland and Faroese and Greenlandic vessels regularly use Icelandic ports.