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

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

Step Five – Preparing Your ICIA

Assessment of likely significantly different effects of the policy

There is no evidence of significant disadvantages for island communities compared to mainland communities based on AQ distributed on HTR principles or special allocations for the non-sector. There is, however, an existing weighting towards Shetland in advantages gained from AQ that is not the same in Orkney or na h-Eileanan Siar (or other areas such as the Firth of Clyde) that reflects the makeup of the fleet and the species targeted, and the results of previous efforts to promote diversification in fishing.

Shetland fishers in sectoral groups will expect to benefit from AQ more than fishers connected to other islands. This is principally due to the varied geographic location of fish stocks and the industry structure since the majority of the AQ is made up of North Sea stocks and therefore will be a less viable option for most of the west coast fleet (particularly smaller vessels), where transit and logistics become limiting factors in accessing these stocks. It should also be noted, however, that this does not mean there is no desire to target demersal and pelagic fish on other islands even though previous efforts to incentivise diversification to take advantage of additional fishing opportunities in the west coast have not translated into significant uptake.

The Joint Fisheries Statement of the UK Fishing Authorities sets the over-arching direction of fisheries management that must be complied with. Historical Track Record provides quota to people who have a record of catching the species already and there is a risk that it may not be fished if given to people without a track record, however, if it is not allocated to people without track record then there is no incentive for diversification.

Alternative delivery mechanisms

AQ allocated as a direct result of this consultation will be similar to the previous period 2021-2023, where, in the main, quota was allocated based on the Historic Track Record of vessels. However, some additional Special Allocations will be made to the non-sector and vessels will have to apply for West of Scotland cod Additional Quota.

A periodically updated HTR or “rolling” reference period will recognise previous investments made by the current fleet and corresponds with proven vessel activity. It will reduce costs to the active fleet by providing AQ and will help meet planned activity for these vessels and may also enable new entrants to slowly access this fishing opportunity as their uptake and access increases.

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 because of the change in the UK share of quotas arising from the TCA. 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. 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 Management Strategy.



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