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Polish-Norwegian talks on cooperation in maritime economy
Thursday, 31 May 2012 13:55

According to the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Secretary of State Kazimierz Plocke met with Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, who accompanied the Norwegian Royal Couple on their visit to Poland. Subjects of discussions were connected with the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy and bilateral relations between Poland and Norway in the area of trade in seafood and cooperation relating to maritime economy. Minister Berg-Hansen emphasised that Poland was a very important market for Norwegians. Poland was the third largest EU buyer of Norwegian fisheries products. Norwegians hoped for further development of fish sale to Poland and other EU Member States. Deputy Minister Plocke declared that Poland was also interested in developing cooperation in trade. At present, the bilateral balance of trade in agri-food products is unfavourable to Poland, so we are interested in developing the export of our food, such as dairy products, fruits and vegetables, to Norway. Presenting Poland’s position on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, Kazimierz Plocke described Poland’s achievements in the reorganisation of the fishing fleet: between 2004 and 2006 it was reduced by ca. 40%.

‘It gives us the moral right to emphasise the role of ecology and sustainable management of sea resources in relations with other countries,’ said Plocke. ‘We do not want to soothe our conscience by pretending to do something, we are ready for actions that would bring about real effects,’ said the Secretary of State referring to the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. Secretary of State emphasised inter alia the significance of the problem of fishing discard as in the Baltic Sea it constitutes approximately 6% of total catch, but FAO statistics show that in the Mediterranean Sea discard can reach even up to 80%. Minister Berg-Hansen declared that Norway followed the discussion on the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy with attention. She also shared the opinion that it was important for the reform to assume a real shape and not be blurred by imprecise declarations. Ministers emphasised the significance of sustainable management of sea resources and the role of research in the area. Vice-Minister Plocke pointed out that the Norwegian administration did not consent to Polish research in Greenland halibut in the waters of Svalbard archipelago in 2010 and 2012. Minister Berg–Hansen argued that halibut fishing quotas in the Svalbard region were divided between Norway and Russia. She said that all applications for consent to research are examined on the basis of the same criteria. Minister Berg–Hansen talked about the initiative of joint research planning ‘Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans’ (so-called JPI Oceans) which, in Norway’s view (Norway being one of its initiators), could become an effective platform for coordinating maritime research. Kazimierz Plocke stated that Poland was not yet participating in JPI Oceans, but the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, which is in charge of the initiative in Poland, closely followed its activities. He emphasised that Poland considered accession to JPI Oceans if the science sector expressed its sufficient interest in the initiative. 'There are many opinions that the 21st century will be a century of water, so the services responsible for rational water basin management, or us among others, have particular responsibility to bear,’ said Minister Plocke summing up the meeting.