The EU and Britain have agreed post-Brexit quotas for shared fish stocks, overcoming disagreement that simmered against a separate UK-France feud over fishing boat licences.
"We have an agreement with Britain on fishing opportunities for 2022," EU fishing commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius tweeted today.
The deal "covers all shared and jointly managed fisheries in EU-British waters and is based on (the) best available scientific advice," he said.
Just last week, Sinkevicius had said that no agreement had been reached with Britain "despite our best efforts" and therefore the EU was forced to provisionally apply catch limits based on 2021 hauls in shared waters.
It was Britain's first post-Brexit fishing deal with the EU since most of the bloc's rules ceased to apply to it in January this year.
Under a trade and cooperation accord setting out post-Brexit relations, Brussels and London have to negotiate annual fish quotas, with an eye to ensuring sustainability of stocks.
The EU-British agreement was reached the same day Britain signed a separate fish-quota deal with Norway, a non-EU country that also negotiates with Brussels on shared stocks.
The European Council, which represents the 27 EU member states, said the deal was being reviewed by legal experts and prepared for translation into all the bloc's languages and would apply from January 1, 2022.
NGOs slammed the agreement by both sides as unsustainable.
"Just like in pre-Brexit times, they have continued to prioritise short-term commercial interests over long-term sustainability for both fish and fishers - perpetuating the dire state of these depleted stocks," one, ClientEarth, said in a statement.
While the quota issue has been settled, the UK-French row over post-Brexit licences for fishing boats plying waters of Britain and its Channel dependencies rumbles on.
Britain has been begrudgingly giving many of the boat licences demanded by France and the European Commission.
But French fishermen say that dozens are still outstanding and Paris has asked Brussels to begin litigation against London.