Section 1 - Introduction
Scotland’s sea fish quotas are a national asset, and this consultation seeks your views on how the Scottish Government should allocate a portion of this national asset – what is termed Additional Quota (“AQ”).
Scotland has AQ following the implementation of the Trade & Co-Operation agreement (TCA) between the UK and the EU after the UK left the EU on 1 January 2021.
The Scottish Government’s Future of Fisheries Management (FFM) body of work, sets out an intention to allocate AQ differently from what is recognised as Existing Quota (Scotland’s share of quota in the period prior to the UK leaving the EU).
Following a consultation issued in December 2020, the Scottish Government issued an outcome report in March 2021 setting out how Scotland would allocate its share of Additional Quota in 2021. This methodology has continued to be applied for 2022 and 2023.
On 14 April 2023, the UK Government published the outcome of a consultation which fixed the apportionment of AQ to the fisheries administrations for the remainder of the current TCA (until end 2026).
This consultation seeks views on how the resulting fishing opportunities should be allocated by the Scottish Government and will run from 19 October 2023 until 11 January 2024.
Section 2, of this document provides background information on the distribution of sea fish quota in the UK and Scotland.
Section 3 presents options for how Scotland could allocate AQ from 2024, and in later years, and seeks your views on them.
In Section 4, we present a ‘Call for Evidence’ where we seek views on alternative, future, methodologies for allocating quota. Based on feedback, the Scottish Government will develop one or more of these methodologies, but these will likely require additional development and possibly further consultation and will not be ready for allocating in 2024.
Data tables are included in the separate Annex document. (see supporting documents)
Important points to note in relation to the allocation of AQ
Please note the following in relation to the allocation of AQ:
- AQ allocated as a result of this consultation may be allocated via a number of ways. As has been the case in the period 2021-2023, where, in the main, quota was allocated based on the Historic Track Record of vessels and some Special Allocations to the non-sector.
- The proportion of quota allocated via the different mechanisms may vary from year-to-year.
- Some methodologies for the distribution of AQ arising from this consultation and subsequent work may not commence until after 2024.
- Gains from transfers of quota to the UK from other Coastal States which arise from negotiations may be allocated differently to the AQ gained as a result of the change in the UK share of quotas arising from the TCA.
- The outcome of this consultation will be reviewed and potentially changed following the conclusion of the current TCA agreement period with the EU (2026).
- We anticipate that our approach to the allocation of any AQ will change in future years, this is due to a number of factors such as the development and implementation of our Future Catching Policy. Therefore, the distribution methodology for AQ may be reviewed and amended before 2026.
- Related to the allocation of sea fish quotas is the operation of sectoral and non-sector groups in Scotland. The Scottish Government will be reviewing these groups as part of the Future Fisheries Strategy.
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