European Union and the United Kingdom - fisheries consultations: written record 2022

Written record of fisheries consultations between the United Kingdom and the European Union for 2022.

Jointly managed stocks (TCA Annex 35)

a) The Delegations considered the jointly managed stocks listed in Annex 35 to the TCA and agreed to establish total allowable catches (TACs) for 2022, and in some cases the approach for 2023, for those stocks, as described in Annex 1 to this Written Record.

b) The TACs referred to in paragraph (a) above represent the agreed catch before any adjustments are applied.

c) The TACs referred to in paragraph (a) above will be allocated between the Parties as indicated in Table 1.

d) Should the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) provide new scientific advice on TACs the Delegations agree to discuss its implications and consider whether any changes to these TACs are required.

e) The TACs referred to in paragraph (a) are established without prejudice to the future approach to TAC setting in annual consultations, including the application of the TAC setting principles set out in parties’ respective legislation.

f) The Delegations reconfirmed for 2022 the commitment in relation to the setting of skates and rays group TACs, under paragraph 5(e) of the 2021 Written Record, to be completed in good time and by 31 July 2022 at the latest, with a view to applying this to existing and emerging ICES advice in 2022 for TAC setting for 2023. The Delegations further agreed to consider how possible in-year amendments to the TAC would be deliverable in practice.

g) Ling: the Delegations noted that the ICES advice for this stock covers both 2022 and 2023. The Delegations agreed to follow a two-step approach to reducing the fishing opportunities for the stock (LIN/03A-C., LIN/04-C., LIN/6X14.) in line with the advice, and notably to set the TACs for 2023 at levels cumulatively corresponding to the headline advice of 15 092 tonnes.

h) Lemon sole/witch and Turbot/brill (L/W/2AC4-C and T/B/2AC4-C): the Delegations noted that in Article 504 of the TCA, the Parties have agreed to request advice from ICES on the alignment of the management areas and the assessment units used by ICES for these stocks. Within six months of receipt of that advice, the Parties will jointly review that advice and consider adjustments to the management areas of the stocks concerned. The Delegations reaffirmed this commitment and agreed to address this commitment as a matter of priority in the SCF in 2022.

i) Anglerfish North Sea and West of Scotland: The Delegations noted that the ICES advice for this stock does not fully correspond to the TAC management areas (ANF/2AC4-C and ANF/56-14), notably catches in area 3a and by Norway in Division 4. The Delegations took note that under the tri-lateral Agreed Record of 10 December 2021 between the European Union, Norway and the United Kingdom this stock is considered as shared and should be jointly managed between the three Parties. The Delegations agreed to work together in the relevant forum, and with ICES, to move, over time, to a position where the TAC areas and biological stock area are aligned and jointly managed with scientific advice.

j) The Delegations noted that ICES headline advice for plaice stocks that are caught in the English Channel is a mixture of stock level advice (ple.27.7.d and ple.27.7.e) and area-based advice (ple.27.2a4 where the advice is adjusted for migration into 7d.). The Delegations agreed that the PLE/7DE TAC for 2022 will be set at the sum of the area-based advice for plaice caught in 7d and 7e. The Delegations agreed to request that ICES take account of migration between areas in their headline advice, in addition to the stock-based advice, for catches from ple.27.4.20, ple.27.7.d and ple.27.7.e from 2023.

k) The Delegations reconfirmed their commitments in Paragraph 5(h) in the 2021 Written Record to improve the scientific evidence base for stocks without advice and agreed that both Parties will request advice relevant to the Celtic Sea saithe (POK/7/3411) and Western Channel and Bristol Channel herring (HER/7EF) TACs, for 2023 and onwards.

l) The Delegations have agreed to amend the TAC year for English Channel sprat (SPR/7DE) to run from 1 July to 30 June instead of from 1 January to 31 December and have therefore agreed a special six-month TAC to cover the period from 1 January to 30 June 2022. The Delegations also agreed to associated special arrangements for inter-annual flexibility, which take precedence over the arrangements in paragraph 13 insofar as there is a conflict between them. Up to 10% of a Party’s unutilised quota for the first six months of 2022 may be carried forward to and used in the new TAC year (1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023). Each Party may authorise fishing of up to 10% beyond its quota for the period from 1 January to 30 June 2022, providing this is deducted from its quota for the new TAC year (1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023). 

m) The Delegations noted that the Celtic Sea whiting TAC area (WHG/7X7A-C) encompasses two biological stocks (the whg.27.7.b-c-e-k stock and the Division 7d part of the whg.27.47d stock). The Delegations also noted the commitment in Art 504 of the TCA to consider adjustments to management areas of certain stocks, including the aforementioned stocks (and making any consequential changes to Annex 35 to the TCA). In light of their shared concerns regarding the difference in the relative health of the two stocks, the Delegations agreed to pursue this commitment in relation to the Celtic Sea whiting stocks 7b-ce-k and 7d ahead of TAC setting for 2023.

n) The Delegations will consult on the fishing opportunities for Norway pout following publication of the ICES advice in time before interim TACs for November and December are set.

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