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.



Executive Summary

Today’s allocation of national fish quotas in the North East Atlantic (NEA) is for most of the species done by use of the allocation key applied by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, NEAFC, when the 200 nm EEZs were established in the late 1970’ies. This key is to a large extent based on the coastal states’ fishing records during the period 1971–76. The same applies to the bilateral fisheries agreements from the late 1970’es on the allocation of fish quotas. These initial allocations have subsequently obtained the status of continuing “allocation keys.”


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