Norway, UK, and EU agree deal on fishing quotas

The EU, the UK and Norway have signed an accord on fishing quotas in the North Sea, the first such deal post Brexit, the Norwegian government said on Tuesday.

Norway, UK, and EU agree deal on fishing quotas
Photo: Nina Larson/ AFP

Fishing rights in the area have been managed under a bilateral cooperation agreement between the EU and Norway since 1980, but the matter was complicated when Britain left the union last year.

“I am pleased that the deal with the EU and Great Britain finally is in place,” fisheries minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen said in a statement.

“This is the first quota deal between three parties in the North Sea, and a prerequisite for sustainable management.”

The agreement comes after out tough talks since the beginning of the year.

It sets an overall catch quota of 13,246 tonnes of cod, 356,357 tonnes of herring and 59,512 tonnes of pollock, and setting individual quotas for the parties.

At the same time, Norway also reached a bilateral quota exchange agreement with the EU, giving fishermen from both sides access to their respective waters.

As the total allowable catch in the North Sea had not been established until now, EU and Norwegian fishermen have not been able to access each other’s fishing grounds since the beginning of the year.

A similar bilateral agreement has yet to be concluded between Norway and the UK, noted Mr Ingebrigtsen.

The organisation representing Norwegian professional fishermen, Fiskebat (Fishing boat), said it was “satisfied” with the agreement.

But it called for compensation for the deep-sea fleet, which would be particularly affected by the reduction in total available quotas.

The Norwegian cod quota was at a record low of 2,252 tonnes this year, Fiskebat said in a statement.

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‘It’s their loss’: Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

The UK is missing out by barring highly skilled Italian graduates from accessing a new work visa, Italy's universities minister said on Wednesday.

'It's their loss': Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

Universities and Research Minister Cristina Messa said she was disappointed by the UK’s decision not to allow any graduates of Italian universities access to its ‘High Potential Individual’ work permit.

“They’re losing a big slice of good graduates, who would provide as many high skills…it’s their loss,” Messa said in an interview with news agency Ansa, adding that Italy would petition the UK government to alter its list to include Italian institutions.

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“It’s a system that Britain obviously as a sovereign state can choose to implement, but we as a government can ask (them) to revise the university rankings,” she said.

The High Potential Individual visa, which launches on May 30th, is designed to bring highly skilled workers from the world’s top universities to the UK in order to compensate for its Brexit-induced labour shortage.

Successful applicants do not require a job offer to be allowed into the country but can apply for one after arriving, meaning potential employers won’t have to pay sponsorship fees.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

The visa is valid for two years for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and three years for PhD holders, with the possibility of moving into “other long-term employment routes” that will allow the individual to remain in the country long-term.

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Italy isn’t the only European country to have been snubbed by the list, which features a total of 37 global universities for the 2021 graduation year (the scheme is open to students who have graduated in the past five years, with a different list for each graduation year since 2016).

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Switzerland, Paris Sciences et Lettres, the University of Munich, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute are the sole European inclusions in the document, which mainly privileges US universities.

Produced by the UK’s Education Ministry, the list is reportedly based on three global rankings: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Messa said she will request that the UK consider using ‘more up-to-date indicators’, without specifying which alternative system she had in mind.