May be exceptions
When asked what effects the potential sanctions will have on fishing cooperation between Norway and Russia in the Barents Sea, she points out that this cooperation has been stable for a long time and that this is also important for fishing activities. in the Far North.
“However, there is no doubt that the sanctions call this into question,” she says and adds:
“There will be exemptions and clarifications to the ban on port arrivals, and the question is what that will entail. Will there be broad and sweeping exemptions, the ban in practice will not- If the exemptions are to be narrow, it will be interesting to observe to what extent Russia will claim – as it has done previously – a “port of refuge”.
Stubholt explains that new EU and Norwegian sanctions against Russia could trigger new counter-sanctions. These can naturally affect imports of Norwegian fish, she adds.
“Of course, the Norwegian authorities take these relationships into account when making their exacting assessment of a precise level of Norwegian sanction against Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which constitutes a violation of public international law.”
High North News has in a series of articles highlighted the consequences of a ban on Russian ships in Norwegian ports.
On the one hand, there are the economic consequences, and the restrictions will also affect Norwegian shipping companies providing supplier services when ships dock at Norwegian ports. Such a measure, however, is not seen as critical for the Norwegian fish industry, CEO Svein Ove Haugland of Norges Råfisklag told High North News.
Senior researcher Andreas Østhagen of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute told HNN that fisheries cooperation between Norway and Russia will not necessarily stop immediately.
“The fact is that this can lead to a series of ripple effects which, over time, can endanger cooperation in fisheries management,” he says.
“We need to talk about the challenges this can bring in terms of resource management and longer-term security policy. We are entering an area where we should think very carefully and not just blindly follow EU sanctions. The EU does not have to worry about cooperation with Russia in the Barents Sea or a fish protection zone around Svalbard,” Østhagen added.
Russia was also recently excluded from the activities of the international marine research council, ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea). ICES provides quota advice for cod stocks in the Barents Sea jointly managed by Norway and Russia. However, the allocation of quotas in the Barents Sea between the two countries belongs to Norway and Russia.
“It is dramatic for the management of fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic. ICES advises quotas for all fisheries of a certain size in the whole North East Atlantic and Russia is a big player in fishing here. Russian researchers also play a key role on the Council, research professor Geir Hønneland told High North News about the exclusion.