The UK fishing industry will have access to 420,000 tonnes of fishing opportunities worth up to £700 million after agreements were reached with the EU and Norway, the UK Government has announced.

The deal with the EU has secured UK fishermen access to opportunities of 130,000 tonnes for 2024, worth up to £340 million.  The trilateral deal with the EU and Norway secures access to opportunities of 290,000 tonnes of North Sea stocks, worth around £360 million.

The deal secures fishing opportunities of almost 388,000 tonnes for the EU fleet, estimated to be worth around €1 billion based on historic wholesale prices, adjusted for inflation.

In the fourth year of the UK operating as an independent coastal state in the negotiations, catch levels were agreed for over 80 important total allowable catches (TACs). This included key commercial stock across the industry, including northern shelf cod, North Sea saithe, and Nephrop stocks in the Celtic/Irish Sea.


Photo: Wim van ‘t Einde


Reaction to the deals

Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer said:  “These significant deals give UK fishermen access to important fish stocks worth £970 million and take advantage of our position outside the EU to independently negotiate in our fishing fleets best interest.  They are based on the latest scientific advice and support a sustainable, profitable fishing sector for years to come while continuing to protect our marine environment and vital fishing grounds.”

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries: “The agreement we reached will secure fishing opportunities for fishers on both sides of the Channel, Irish Sea, and North Sea. It takes into account the sustainability of stocks and the socioeconomic impact for fishers, providing protection for our ocean and certainty for our fishers. The agreement establishes a strong basis to continue cooperating in fisheries management with the UK.”

Oceana said that their preliminary analysis of the agreement indicated that there had been no breakthrough in terms of increasing the number of catch limits in line with scientific advice compared to previous years, with many severely depleted populations remaining at grave risk.

Hugo Tagholm, executive director at Oceana in the UK, said: “These piecemeal adjustments – one step forward, two steps back – threaten our ability to safeguard our seas, our fish populations and our coastal communities. The simple fact is that the EU and UK could end overfishing tomorrow by following independent scientific advice and setting sustainable limits. We should seize the opportunity to let our seas bounce back to thriving good health, rather than playing a shameful part in their destruction.

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said: “We have had our differences with the Scottish Government this year in relation to the now abandoned HPMA policy, but we have to pay credit to the excellent work of Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon and her team at the Marine Directorate who along with colleagues in the UK Government have secured a good deal for our fishermen for 2024.”

Further information 

The Agreed Records for the negotiations can be seen here:

Bilateral fisheries negotiations between the UK and Norway and those between the UK and the Faroe Islands are currently on-going.


The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)  sets out jointly-managed EU-UK stocks, for which the Parties hold annual consultations every year to establish catch limits.

The parties’ respective shares of these stocks are set out in the TCA, which also provides for reciprocal access for the fleets of both parties to the waters of the other. The TCA also provides for mutual access to fish non-quota stocks at historic fishing levels.

Outcome of UK/EU bilateral negotiations 

This deal set catch limits of around 70 total allowable catches (TACs). The agreement also commits the UK and EU to work together to provide more sustainable fisheries management, including to review the effectiveness of existing measures to protect the recently reopened spurdog fishery.  The agreement also includes a by-catch only total allowable catch for pollack, following ICES advice published earlier this year.

Outcome of UK/EU/Norway trilateral negotiations 

This deal agreed catch limits on six North Sea fish stocks including cod, haddock and herring and further stocks in other waters around the UK.

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