Scottish trawlers will still be able to access Norwegian waters in the North Sea to fish, a UK Government minister has said.

Speaking at the end of annual fisheries negotiations, Scotland Office minister John Lamont said the talks show his Government is taking action to ensure the fishing sector has a “bright, sustainable future”.

The UK fleet will be able to access 30,000 tonnes of whitefish stocks such as cod, haddock and hake from Norwegian waters in the North Sea as a result of the deal.

It also allows Norwegian boats to take up to 20,000 tonnes of herring from UK waters.

UK fisheries minister Mark Spencer said: “Leaving the EU has presented us with the chance to seize the post-Brexit freedoms that are on offer, negotiating deals and implementing broader fisheries measures that will support our fishing industry towards a more profitable and sustainable future.

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“Through negotiations this year, we’ve already secured deals to give our fishermen access to stocks worth £970 million, and the arrangements with Norway announced today will provide certainty and continuity, allowing fishermen to access to important North Sea stocks such as cod, haddock and hake.”

The UK Government said that next year, the British fishing industry will have access to 30,000 tonnes of whitefish stocks such as cod, haddock and hake in Norwegian waters in the North Sea, mutual access to fish up to 20,000 tonnes of herring in our respective waters and quota transfers in key UK stocks, including anglerfish and Arctic stocks. 

Mr Lamont said: “It’s great news that Scottish trawlers will benefit from continued access to Norwegian North Sea waters to fish for stocks such as cod, haddock and hake following the conclusion of annual fisheries negotiations.

“The announcement comes just days after the UK Government successfully negotiated access to 420,000 tonnes of fishing opportunities for the UK fishing industry worth up to £700 million after reaching agreements with the EU and Norway.

“Alongside the latest funding round opening from our £100 million UK Seafood Fund, we are delivering on our commitment to provide our fishing industry with a bright, sustainable future.”

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Last month, the Scottish Government launched a fisheries paper as part of its renewed case for independence, which aimed to show how the marine sector can “thrive and grow” in an independent Scotland.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon described the marine sector as a “national asset”, but stressed that it was “only with the full powers of independence that we can unlock its full potential”.

She added: “Brexit has significantly impacted Scotland’s marine sector, creating major barriers to trade, reducing access to labour and a loss of fishing opportunities for parts of our fleet.

“As an independent EU member state, Scotland would for the first time be able to negotiate for its own priorities at the heart of Europe."