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EU Council approves bloc's agreement with UK on fishing opportunities

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BRUSSELS, June 11 (Xinhua) -- The Council of the European Union (EU) on Friday approved the agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom (UK) on fishing opportunities for 2021 and for deep-sea stocks for this year and next. The issue has been a major bone of contention during the Brexit talks.

Among others, the agreement sets out the total of allowable catches (TACs) for 75 shared fish stocks and a number of deep-sea stocks. It also clarifies access limits for species that are not covered by a quota.

"The agreement guarantees stability for fishermen and women in both the UK and the EU, while also ensuring sustainable management of marine resources," the Council said in a statement.

It added that the agreement is also in line with the social, environmental and economic principles of the bloc's Common Fisheries Policy, provides the certainty needed by the fishing industry, and paves the way for future consultations with the UK on fishing rights.

The agreement was reached after several rounds of negotiations. Under the terms of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement concluded in December 2020, the two sides agreed to hold annual consultations on fishing opportunities.

Following the Council's approval, the agreement will now be transposed into EU legislation. A specialized committee on fisheries will also be set up to finalize some of the pending issues, including quota swaps and certain technical measures.

Ricardo Serrao Santos, minister of the sea of Portugal, the country holding the current EU Council Presidency, was quoted in the statement as saying that "this agreement represents a milestone in EU-UK relations and sets a strong precedent for future negotiations with the UK on fishing opportunities." Enditem

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