European Union, Norway and the United Kingdom - fisheries consultations: agreed records 2022

Agreed records of consultations from meetings of delegations from the United Kingdom, Norway and the European Union, held between October and December 2021 on the joint management of shared North Sea stocks.


Annex I

Conditions for fisheries by the parties in 2022

I. Joint stocks

1. The Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for the stocks mentioned in Table 1 for 2022 shall be as indicated in that table. If ICES make new scientific recommendations, the Parties will review these TACs.

2. The TACs referred to in paragraph 1 shall be divided between the Parties as indicated in Table 1.

3. Each Party shall inform the other Parties of allocations granted to a third country for fishing of the stocks referred to in Table 1.

4. The Parties shall supply each other with monthly catch statistics for fishing on the stocks referred to in Table 1 by their own vessels. Communication of these statistics for the preceding month shall take place at the latest on the last day of each month.

II. Fishery regulations

1. The Parties will inform each other of their respective fishery regulations applicable in the North Sea.

2. A Party intending to introduce or amend fishery regulations applicable to vessels of the other Parties shall duly inform the other Parties of such intentions.

Annex II

Inter-annual quota flexibility

The inter-annual quota flexibility scheme applicable to the jointly managed stocks discussed during these consultations shall be terminated if:

  • the spawning stock biomass is estimated to be below the precautionary reference point Bpa in the TAC year and the fishing mortality is estimated to be above the precautionary reference point Fpa in the intermediate year, or
  • the SSB is estimated to be below Bpa in both the TAC year and the year thereafter

Each Party may transfer unutilised quota from the TAC year to be caught in the following year. Each Party may transfer up to 10% of its total quota allocation. This quantity cannot be transferred further in subsequent years.

Each Party may authorise fishing by its vessels beyond its total quota allocation for the TAC year by up to 10%. The quantity fished beyond the allocated quota shall be deducted from the Party’s allocation for the year after the TAC year.

The Delegations agreed that in order to ensure transparency in the operation of inter-annual quota flexibility, more detailed information on catch utilisation shall be exchanged.

To note, the TAC year is the year for which the agreed TAC applies, and the intermediate year is the year prior to the TAC year.

Annex III

Terms of reference for a working group on herring

The group's main task is to recommend how to optimally and sustainably utilise the North Sea Autumn Spawning Herring (NSAS) in the North Sea and explore methods for TAC setting.

The Working Group shall also make recommendations for management models, including TAC setting for the herring in Skagerrak and Kattegat, where NSAS herring mix with Western Baltic spring spawning (WBSS) herring stocks.

The Working Group should also look at the current practice of setting separate TACs to cover by-catches in other fisheries. Important elements to consider are fishing areas and seasons, exploitation pattern as well as bycatches in other fisheries.

In particular, the Working Group shall:

1. For an appropriate range of reference years defined by the group:

a. Describe the development of the herring fisheries in the North Sea.

b. Describe the catch composition in the herring fisheries (by type of fleet, age, stock, quarter, and ICES subdivision).

c. Describe the development of relevant herring stocks (WBSS herring) and species caught together with NSAS.

d. Describe the development and impact of management measures.

2. Elaborate on any specificities that may explain certain important development traits.

3. Suggest a management model that secures that the exploitation of NSAS herring stock is sustainable, and at the same time practical and controllable.

4. Explore/consider different models where catches of stocks are kept separate and in which all landings (also bycatches) within a management area are counted against stock specific TACs.

The Working Group shall submit its recommendations preferably before 1 October 2021.

Annex IV

This annex includes a table showing seasonal closure areas to protect spawning cod, including the area name and coordinates and the time period of the closure . The table can be viewed in the attached PDF.

Annex V

Terms of reference for a working group on monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) of fisheries on joint stocks from 2019 to 2024

The objective of the Working Group is to cooperate, exchange information and best practices related to control of joint stocks, in mutual interest of securing continued responsible fisheries and ensuring the long-term conservation and sustainable exploitation of the marine living resources for which the Parties are responsible.

The scope of the Working Group is mainly fisheries for cod, haddock, saithe, whiting, plaice and herring in the North Sea.

The MCS Working Group should:

1. Compare existing inspection practices and guidelines with the view to recommend best practices for:

  • sea inspections (e.g., gear, catch composition, discard ban/landing obligation)
  • landing inspections

2. Compare relevant topics with the view to, as appropriate, recommend best practices such as:

  • weighing requirements, including sampling plans etc.
  • logbook, landings, sales documentation, and traceability requirements

3. Conduct missions (exchange of inspectors) to identify inspection best practices, weighing and documentation practices as appropriate.

4. Consider the need and topics for training or workshops for inspectors taking advantage of other fora or meetings.

5. Exchange experience on other relevant issues such as discard ban/landing obligation, post landing inspections, procedures and practices, including as regards enforcement measures further to the identification of violations.

6. Exchange experience on existing risk assessment methods and consider the possibility to share relevant output data related to risk assessment (identified risks and risk handling).

In addition, the NS MCS WG should also focus on monitoring, inspection and surveillance for the control of the cod and cod-related fisheries in the North Sea to ensure compliance with technical measures and catch registration obligations.

If there are any other relevant issues, which the Working Group believes would result in a more efficient Monitoring, Control and Surveillance of fisheries in the North Sea, the Working Group could explore these as appropriate.

Annex VI

This annex includes a tentative work plan for the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance group for the North Sea. The table can be viewed in the attached PDF.

Annex VII

Terms of reference for a working group on hake

Terms of Reference for a Working Group on the distribution of hake (Merluccius merluccius) in the Greater North Sea, Celtic Seas, the Northern Bay of Biscay and adjacent waters.

The objective of the Working Group is to collect and collate information on the entire geographical distribution of all life stages of hake (Northern stock), based on internationally recognised data collection methods and on the distribution of catches from this stock.

The Working Group shall:

  1. Present currently available fishery independent data on the geographical distribution on an annual survey basis for all life stages (biomass and abundance or their appropriate proxies) at the highest level of spatial resolution possible and coded by relevant ICES Areas and national fisheries jurisdiction and international waters since year 1987, or for an alternative period if so decided by the Working Group.
  2. Describe/Evaluate the quality, coverage and utility of the survey data for the purposes of assessing the distribution of the stock in time and space, consistent with standards acceptable to the Working Group, including listing all the scientific surveys which are available for determining the distribution of the stock or which are carried out by the Parties.
  3. For each coastal State, present total annual catch data by month and ICES statistical rectangle from 1987-2020, and by the respective zones of national fisheries jurisdiction and international waters as precisely as the data allow since 1987, or for an alternative period if so decided by the Working Group.
  4. Describe the quality, coverage and utility of the catch data for the purposes of assessing the distribution of the stock in time and space.
  5. Compile the management measures, as provided by fisheries managers, adopted by the Parties for the stock, such as catch limitations and quota schemes (including quota uptake levels), as well as any management measures which would have an impact on such catch limitations.
  6. Present a description of the fleet segments involved in the fisheries of the stock by each Party since year 1987, or for an alternative period if so decided by the Working Group.

The Working Group shall be composed of scientific experts from the Coastal States. Managers will provide the Working Group with the necessary material to document the management measures.

Annex VIII

Terms of reference for a working group on Norway pout

Terms of Reference for a Working Group on the distribution of Norway pout (Trisopterus esmarkii) in Subarea 4 (North Sea) and Division 3.a (Skagerrak and Kattegat) and adjacent waters.

The objective of the Working Group is to collect and collate information on the entire geographical distribution of all life stages of Norway pout, based on internationally recognised data collection methods and on the distribution of catches from this stock.

The Working Group shall:

  1. Present currently available fishery independent data on the geographical distribution on an annual survey basis for all life stages (biomass and abundance or their appropriate proxies) by relevant ICES Areas and national fisheries jurisdiction since year 1987, or for an alternative period if so decided by the Working Group.
  2. Describe/Evaluate the quality, coverage and utility of the survey data for the purposes of assessing the distribution of the stock in time and space, consistent with standards acceptable to the Working Group, including listing all the scientific surveys which are available for determining the distribution of the stock or which are carried out by the Parties.
  3. For each coastal State, present total annual catch data by month and ICES statistical rectangle from 1987-2020, and by the respective zones of national fisheries jurisdiction as precisely as the data allow since 1987, or for an alternative period if so decided by the Working Group.
  4. Describe the quality, coverage and utility of the catch data for the purposes of assessing the distribution of the stock in time and space.
  5. Compile the management measures, as provided by fisheries managers, adopted by the Parties for the stock, such as catch limitations and quota schemes (including quota uptake levels), as well as any management measures which would have an impact on such catch limitations.
  6. Present a description of the fleet segments involved in the fisheries of the stock by each Party since year 1987, or for an alternative period if so decided by the Working Group.

The Working Group shall be composed of scientific experts from the Coastal States. Managers will provide the Working Group with the necessary material to document the management measures.

Annex IX

Terms of reference for a working group on notification and authorisation of fishing vessels for 2022

The Delegations agreed that the Working Group on Notification and Authorisation of fishing vessels should meet before 31 May 2022 under the Terms of Reference described below. After that, the Working Group should meet as appropriate.

The Working Group shall carry out a scoping exercise to seek harmonisation of technical arrangements, procedures and specifications based on the UN/FLUX standard for the exchange between the Parties on how to notify vessels, request and grant fishing authorisations/licences, as well as any other domain identified by the Working Group during the scoping exercise.

The Working Group should submit its report to the Parties well in advance of the annual consultations for 2022.

Table 1

This table shows the 2022 quotas for jointly-managed shared stocks in the North Sea. This table can be viewed in the attached PDF.

Table 2

This table shows the 2021 provisional catch statistics for jointly managed shared stocks in the North Sea. This table can be viewed in the attached PDF.

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