Section 2 – introduction
This report summarises feedback to questions posed in the consultation, as well as supplementary feedback and provides Marine Scotland's decision and next steps in relation to the allocation of Additional Quota for 2021.
The consultation opened on 17 December 2020 and closed on 15 January 2021.
Following the closure of the consultation, responses were analysed and considered, along with other available evidence to help inform our decision.
Policy background to the consultation
On 13 October 2020, the UK Government issued a consultation on how Additional Quota secured by the UK in negotiations should be apportioned between the four UK Fisheries Administrations. The Scottish Government, along with the other UK Fisheries Administrations, has been working closely with DEFRA on that consultation.
Ahead of the UK's departure from the EU, the Scottish Government issued its own consultation on the allocation of Additional Quota on 17 December 2020, to provide for the allocation of Additional Quota in 2021 – this document is the outcome of that consultation. The consultation document presented three alternate methods for allocating Scotland's share of Additional Quota and sought views on these proposed allocation methods and also invited views on alternative methods for allocating quota to inform future thinking.
The Trade and Cooperation Agreement was agreed between the UK and the EU on 24 December 2020. As a result of that agreement the UK attained some Additional Quota, however, the level of Additional Quota is significantly lower than many had anticipated including for many of the key stocks fished by the Scottish industry.
As set out in the consultation document, the Scottish Government identified two potential sources of Additional Quota:
(i) A change to the UK's permanent share of quota. That is: the share of quota assigned to the UK as an independent Coastal State;
(ii) Gains from transfers of quota to the UK from other Coastal States (for example, transfers of quota from other Coastal States for access to UK waters). Transfers arising through yearly negotiations, which are not permanent and may fluctuate from year to year.
At the point of writing, all of the UK's Additional Quota comes as a result of (i) (a change in the UK's share of quota) above. It had been anticipated that there would be gains from transfers of quota from other Coastal States but (at this point) none have been achieved.
The delayed outcome to this consultation comes as consequence of the late signing of the TCA and the slow process of working to achieve bi-lateral agreements with other Coastal States, all of which have contributed to the delay in UK Fisheries Administrations agreeing the apportionment of Additional Quota between the different UK Fisheries Administrations.
Respondents to the consultation
There were 69 responses to the consultation. These consisted of 40 private individuals (58%) and 29 organisations (42%). Organisations which responded included: fishing associations, environmental/conservation organisations, sectoral groups and fishing businesses. A full list of organisations that responded can be found in Annex A.
The responses demonstrated expertise, practical knowledge and deep conviction about the management of Scotland's fishing opportunities and we thank all of those who took the time to provide a response, particularly in light of the short nature of the consultation and the high degree of uncertainty in the subject area.
Format of responses to the consultation document
In the consultation document we sought views on each of the proposals rather than closed yes/no responses. This encouraged many to provide a reasoning for their response, to allow us to better understand considerations. However, often respondents chose not to provide views other than to indicate support or opposition. Or provided responses which did not indicate support of opposition to the question posed.
Some respondents chose to submit a response in the form of a letter as opposed to responses to individual questions. It should also be noted that in many instances respondents chose not to permit their name and/or response to be published.
Format of this outcome report
In this report, we explore responses to each of the questions posed in the consultation document. Themes in support of and in opposition to each proposal, are explored, with particular emphasis placed on recurrent themes in responses.
The consultation sought views on three different options for allocating Additional Quota and for two of these options, asked associated, supplementary questions. In this outcome report for each of the methodologies we:
(1) Explore supporting and then opposing themes in relation to the method of allocation,
(2) Explore supportive and opposing themes in any supplementary questions
(3) Present a summary of views.
We then explore responses to question 8; a stand-alone question which sought views on alternative arrangements to those proposed in the consultation to inform future thinking.
Having considered each question, in our Outcome and Next Steps section we set out Marine Scotland's response and details of how Additional Quota will be allocated.
For each of the questions posed we have sought to begin by presenting a high level overview of responses. Here we set out: the number of responses, attempt to quantify the number of responses that were broadly supportive; broadly opposed or set out responses that did not fit clearly into either category and then to highlight some of the groups which expressed supportive and then opposing views in relation to the question.
In exploring views in responses to the consultation, we have sought to use complete, or partial, extracts from responses. It is important to note that quotes may be extracts and additional points/comments may be made in responses. Where an extract, as opposed to a full answer, we have sought to indicate this. We have used quotes in order to illustrate themes present in responses.
"Existing Quota" means the share of quota received by the UK under the
Common Fisheries Policy's relative stability key, plus quota regularly gained due to invocation of Hague Preference.
"Additional Quota" means the extra quota the UK secures as an independent Coastal State. It is defined as anything above the UK's existing share of quota.
In our consultation document we set out our aims for the allocation of Additional Quota for 2021. In allocating Additional Quota we aim to:
- Be consistent with Marine Scotland's developing future fisheries policy and developing Blue Economy Action Plan.
- Support the active fishing fleet and help reduce their business costs.
- Help businesses with diversification of fishing operations through access to new fishing opportunities.
In line with the UK Fisheries Act 2020, Additional Quota will be distributed based on criteria that:
- Are transparent and objective; and
- Include criteria relating to environmental, social and economic factors.