New technical fishing measures – GOV.UK
New measures for all otter trawls and demersal seines in the Celtic Sea mixed fisheries are due to be introduced later this year following the conclusion of negotiations between the UK and the EU on catch limits for fish stocks shared for 2021.
The measures are expected to come into effect on September 5 and apply to all types of bottom trawls and seines (except beam trawls) as these gears have very mixed catches, including valuable out-of-quota species. with by-catches of cod, haddock and whiting. Discussions on selectivity standards that apply to the beam trawl fleet fishery, where gears used by a significant proportion of vessels are more selective than current selectivity standards, are continuing.
Technical measures have been introduced in recent years to conserve cod, haddock and whiting in the Celtic Sea area. The UK government has undertaken a review of these measures with a view to further reducing unwanted catches of cod and whiting as well as to reap wider benefits from improved selectivity for all species. The proposed measures to be introduced in 2021 will simplify the rules currently in force and extend to a wider area of the Western Channel (ICES 7th), excluding the waters of the crown dependencies. Outside UK waters, vessels must adhere to Article 15 of the 2021/92 EU Regulation “Technical measures for cod and whiting in the Celtic Sea”.
New measures applicable in UK waters
In order to allow adaptive management, a new British regulatory instrument will revoke the current technical measures of the Celtic Sea (Art9 of EU Regulation 123/2020, EU Regulation Art13 of 223/2019 and EU Regulation 737/2012). It will provide for detailed technical measures to be introduced through the licensing of UK and foreign vessels in UK waters.
A key change is being made in the West Channel (ICES 7th) where a 100mm codend baseline will replace the current complex rules based on catch composition.
In British waters of the Celtic Sea Inner Protection Zone (CSPZ: ICES divisions from 7f, 7g, the part of 7h north of latitude 49 ° 30 ‘north and the part of 7j north of latitude 49 ° 30 ‘north and east of 11 ° West longitude), a base mesh of 110 mm with a square mesh panel of 120 mm will apply to otter trawls and demersal seines.
In the UK zone of 7e, f, g, h, j outside the inner CSPZ a base mesh of 100mm will apply. A 100mm square mesh panel will also be required except in the 7th area east of 5 ° west.
Throughout the area (UK waters of 7th, f, g, h, j) a maximum twine thickness of 6mm single or 4mm double will apply and reinforcement bags will be prohibited except for vessels targeting langoustines. Specific exemptions will continue to apply subject to further evidence gathering and consultation:
- The threshold defined for Norway lobster vessels (> 5% of Norway lobster in catches) will continue to apply and there will be specific technical measures / derogations for these fisheries.
- Current measures for vessels targeting sole in Area 7f east of 5 ° West will continue to apply.
- Within the CSPZ, vessels catching more than 55% whiting or more than 55% hake, the angler and cardine can continue to use a 100mm codend with a 100 square mesh panel. mm. A new exemption will apply pending the ongoing scientific assessment of the use of lighter twine in coastal fisheries.
- Vessels using otter trawls and bottom seines within the 12 nautical mile belt of 7f may use a 100mm codend and a 100mm square mesh panel. In this case, the use of a square mesh panel will be optional.
- Vessels operating otter trawls and bottom seines fishing west of 5 West in 7e (in ICES rectangles 28E3 and 28E4) or within the 12 nautical mile belt of 7f, may use a 100 mm codend with a single string of a maximum thickness of 5 mm. In this case, the use of a square mesh panel will be optional. This is conditional on the evaluation of the trial.
The measures are intended to be flexible and take into account any element justifying new derogations. Evidence-gathering proposals for further exemptions can be submitted to the MMO.
The government plans to hold consultations on selectivity measures applicable to the Nephrops fishery in the Celtic Sea later this year.
Square mesh panels must be installed in accordance with the conditions of the permit.
Figure 1 – Rules applicable in the UK section of the Celtic Sea Protection Zone (CSPZ) excluding Crown Dependency waters.
Outside UK waters, vessels must adhere to Article 15 of 2021/92 “Technical measures for cod and whiting in the Celtic Sea” attached at the bottom of this document.
These new measures are expected to apply from September 5, when the license conditions come into effect.
The exemptions will be reviewed at least every two years or in the light of any new evidence and subsequent changes will be subject to consultation.
The schedule allows three months to adjust to the new measures and companies are advised to check with netting manufacturers that supply will be available.
Subject to availability, funding may be granted through the Fisheries and Seafood program for better selectivity regarding Celtic Sea measurements. This applies before September 5th.
For more information on funding, please send an email to: [email protected]
If you have any questions regarding these measures, you should contact the MMO on 0330 123 1032 or by email at [email protected]
Single zone license conditions
The new single zone license conditions will apply to beam trawlers (UK and non-UK vessels). The current single zone licensing rules that are in place to ensure that the Dover sole catch currently only applies to UK vessels.
The new provisions, which are expected to come into force on October 4, will now apply to vessels of all nationalities within UK fishing limits as defined in license conditions and excluding Crown Dependency waters.
Beam trawlers fishing in the area concerned (UK waters 7th east of 5 west, see table below) must not fish outside ICES area 7th on the same trip and must leave and return in a British port. Alternatively, vessels may fish outside ICES zone 7th during the same trip provided that they contact the UKFMC before starting to fish in the area concerned and before the trip and, on request, make the vessel available. at a checkpoint.
When a vessel is not required by the UK FMC to facilitate an inspection, it may proceed to any area outside of ICES area 7e.
Details of the new measures will be incorporated into the conditions of the vessel’s licenses.
Figure 2: Single Zone License – Relevant Zone (UK waters excluding Crown Dependency waters).
If you have any questions regarding these measures, you should contact the MMO on 0330 123 1032 or by e-mail at [email protected]