With Quota and Effort management, the aim of Marine Scotland is to manage Scotland's fishing opportunities - landings of fish and time at sea - to maximise profitability and contribute to the Scottish Government's purpose of sustainability. Scotland's main sea fishing opportunities are set as part of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
Fish quotas are the amount of fish of different species that may be legally landed by EU Member States. The purpose of our quota management arrangements is to enable the fishing industry to make full use of the fishing opportunities which we receive every year from the EU, while ensuring that quotas are not exceeded. The Scottish Government undertakes this function mainly in conjunction with Scottish Fish Producer Organisations (POs). Most fishing vessels are members of POs.
UK quotas have been allocated and managed according to a methodology agreed by UK Fisheries Administrations (following consultation). The allocation methodology relates to PO member vessels' previous fishing activity or "track record" known (since January 1999) as Fixed Quota Allocation (FQA) units. This allows POs to manage their allocations of fish quota according to the needs of their member vessels and take action to ensure that quotas are not overfished. These allocation processes will change as the new Concordat on fisheries management is implemented in May 2012.
Once allocations are made, POs may adopt whatever method of management best suits their members. Fisheries Administrations monitor uptake and 'close' fisheries (i.e. prohibit through varying fishing licences further landings of defined species) when POs have taken their allocation.
The landings of vessels that are not PO members (known as the 'non-sector' in the case of over 10 metre vessels and the "10 metre and under" fleet) are managed directly by the Scottish Government. Vessels in these groups fish against catch limits set by the Government, which may be monthly or three monthly. These limits are enforced in fishing licences.
- Maintains an overview of quota uptake by Scottish POs, the non-sector and 10 metre and under groups
- Approves in-year quota swaps between POs
- Processes international quota swaps
- Facilitates the transfer of fixed quota allocation (FQA) units between licences
- Where necessary, closes specific fisheries to POs and the non-sector and 10 metre and under groups when their quota allocations are exhausted in order to ensure no overfishing at both a PO and, ultimately, UK level.
Further information can be obtained from email@example.com (tel no. 0131 244 4766) or firstname.lastname@example.org (tel no. 0131 244 6436)
The UK Fisheries Administrations intend to establish a public electronic register of all Fixed Quota Allocation (FQA) unit holdings in the UK by the end of the year. You will be aware that this was one of the improvements to fisheries management that UK Fisheries Ministers committed to under the new Concordat on Quota Management and Licensing.
As part of the FQA register project, we are undertaking work to ensure that all allocation of the FQAs are accounted for. We have already contacted all Producer Organisations asking them about the FQA units held on ‘dummy licences’. To obtain full completeness and transparency for the final FQA Register, Fisheries Administrations will soon be sending FQA statements to all individuals who hold FQA units on their licence. We would ask that you check your statement carefully when you receive it.
Statements will be sent in the post shortly so if you do hold FQA units on your licence and have recently changed your postal address or other contact details, but have not yet informed your vessel’s port of administration then please do so as a matter of urgency.
Fishing effort ('days at sea') is the time that vessels spend at sea. The Scottish Government's scheme for managing fishing effort is called the Conservation Credits Scheme (CCS) (more below). The aim of the scheme is to make sure that stocks of valuable whitefish in Scottish waters, particularly Cod, are able to recover to sustainable levels (fulfilling Scotland's obligations under the EU's Cod Recovery Plan). The CCS allocates limited fishing time to vessels that use particular types of fishing gear (principally, trawls for whitefish and Nephrops) and rewards them with additional time in return for the adoption of conservation minded fishing practices.
- Manages and administer effort control
- Allocates and enforce time at sea limits for fishing vessels, transfer days between vessels and monitor uptake by the Scottish fleet, to make sure it stays within limits set by the EU
- Convenes the Fisheries Management and Conservation (FMAC) Group, made up of Government, scientists, the fishing industry and environmental organisations, that sets the rules of the CCS and develops new conservation options that give vessels more time at sea.
The EU's Cod Recovery Plan requests that Member States make available a list of vessels with allocations under the relevant gear groupings. Details of the vessels administered by Marine Scotland are now available online.
Further information can be obtained by e-mailing email@example.com or from firstname.lastname@example.org (tel no. 0131 244 6443).
Conservation Credits Scheme (CCS)
The following documents are available for you to download: