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.

Non-quota stocks

a) The Delegations consulted on the implementation of Article 2(1)(b) of Annex 38 to the TCA. They exchanged data on the average tonnages of non-quota stocks landed over the 2012-2016 period, which indicated totals of 12,365 tonnes by UK vessels from EU waters and 33,023 tonnes by EU vessels from UK waters.

b) For the purposes of monitoring landings of non-quota species and in line with the Parties’ obligations under Article 507 of the TCA (data-sharing), the Delegations agreed to exchange landings data (for each Party’s vessels from the EEZ and territorial waters of the other Party, and at a species level) at monthly intervals on or before the 25th day of each calendar month, covering the previous calendar month. Both Parties are committed to ensuring the robustness of the landings data exchanged. To support this, the Delegations agreed to engage in technical level discussions from January 2022, informed by the exchange of data under paragraph 13(e) of the 2021 Written Record, with a view to considering issues identified by either Party and to identify potential solutions to improve the robustness of the data. The Delegations recognised the importance of data transparency and agreed to discuss this further in the SCF.

c) Exceptionally the Delegations agreed not to apply the tonnages provided for in Article 2(1)(b) of Annex 38 to the TCA in 2022, but will closely monitor non-quota stocks fished by each Party in the waters of the other Party, as a continuation of the approach taken in 2021. The Delegations agreed that in the event that either Party reaches 80% of its total before the end of 2022, the Parties will discuss this in the SCF and consider next steps.

d) The Delegations confirmed their commitment to developing multi-year strategies for the conservation and management of shared non-quota stocks in accordance with Article 508 (1)(c), and that this is a priority to ensure sustainable management of these fisheries from 2023 onwards. The Delegations agreed to work at pace from the beginning of 2022 in the Working Group of the SCF with the aim of developing under the SCF, by 31 July 2022, a first set of multi-year strategies covering, fisheries, sea basins and/or key species, building upon existing knowledge and in particular the current state of the stocks. Thereafter, the Delegations agreed to continue to work at pace to build on these strategies and develop further multi-year strategies for other non-quota species and/or sea basins.

e) The Delegations agreed on a shared, non-exhaustive set of principles to underpin the development of multi-year strategies for the conservation and management of shared non-quota species:

  • strategies should support long-term sustainability (environmental, social and economic) and take due account of and minimise the harmful impacts of fishing on the marine ecosystem
  • strategies should be based on the best available scientific advice
  • strategies should set out how often advice will be obtained and set out steps for improving advice on stock status and addressing evidence gaps
  • strategies should be subject to review to take account of any developments that may affect the sustainable management of these stocks, including potential impacts of changes in fishing behaviours

f) Seabass

i. The Delegations discussed measures for seabass, agreed to roll over arrangements in place during 2021, and agreed that the following adjustments would be introduced as soon as practicable in the course of 2022:

i. The commercial trawl/seine flexibility will be amended from a 380kg limit per month to a 760kg limit per two months, within the 5% bass per trip limit

ii. The hooks and lines limits will be amended from 5.7 to 5.95 tonnes per vessel per year

ii. The fixed gillnet limits will be amended from 1.4 to 1.5 tonnes per vessel per year

iii. The Delegations committed to keep these adjustments under review in 2022 including within the annual consultations for 2023, considering information on uptake available during the year and effects on stock mortality.

g) Eels

i. The Delegations exchanged views on the ICES zero catch advice for the European eel stock and shared concerns about the status of the stock, and on the urgent need to seek its recovery. The Delegations committed to further engagement on the stock, in the SCF, once each Party has had sufficient time to fully analyse the advice and has established a position on possible actions.

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