Fishing quota - additional allocation from 2024: island communities impact assessment

Impact assessment for the allocation of Additional Quota in relation to island communities.

Step One – Develop A Clear Understanding Of Your Objectives

Objectives of the policy

The Scottish Government Marine Directorate has consulted on how Additional Quota (AQ) is to be allocated from 2024. AQ is the share of fish quota that has increased following the UK leaving the EU and becoming an independent coastal state. The Scottish share is managed by the Scottish Government Marine Directorate which allocates it to the Scottish fishing industry. The resultant methodology is to be in line with Statutory Obligations (in particular Section 25 of the Fisheries Act 2020) and relevant regulatory and Scottish Government objectives.

Impacts/ outcomes of the policy and how do these potentially differ across the islands

Summary of Outcome

Following consideration of responses to the consultation, objectives for the use of quota as set out in the Fisheries Act 2020 and other relevant information, the Scottish Government will allocate Additional Quota in the following way:

  • Through the Historic Track Record (HTR) of active fishing vessels, based on an annually updated reference period, beginning in 2025.
  • Through special allocations to non-sector vessels with an immediate uplift in the quota retained for the following stocks: North Sea saithe, North East Atlantic mackerel, North Sea cod and West of Scotland cod.
  • From 2025, West of Scotland cod will be allocated to sectoral vessels following an application process.
  • Retaining the option to allocate quota on an equal basis between eligible vessels resulting from swaps of fishing quotas with other coastal states.

While not intending to introduce in the short term, the Scottish Government will additionally:

  • Investigate the potential development of Community Quota Initiatives, with this allocation methodology potentially being adopted in future years.
  • Explore whether non-compliance with fishing regulations could be used as a basis for withholding access to AQ as part of the body of work to review the penalties system.

These policies affect the allocation of AQ, which in the islands’ case is principally landed at Shetland. Landings to the other island port districts (Orkney, Portree and Stornoway) and mainland port districts that contain islands (Mallaig, Oban and Campbeltown) are predominantly focused on nephrops and shellfish (though there are some landings of demersal and pelagic fish) and there is no AQ for nephrops or shellfish species.

However, the Scottish Government has committed to explore the potential for AQ to be allocated to community groups (such as Island communities). This proposal was strongly supported by island stakeholders but will need to be developed, due to implementation constraints, and therefore are not explored in this Impact Assessment.



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