This consultation relates to the 2022 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for herring in the Firth of Clyde.
The Clyde herring stock is defined as the stock in the maritime area situated to the north-east of a line drawn between the Mull of Kintyre (55° 17,9′ N, 05° 47,8′ W), a point at position (55° 04′ N, 05° 23′ W), and Corsewall Point (55° 00,5′ N, 05° 09,4′ W). This area is shown in section 3.
Marine Scotland is carrying out this consultation on behalf of the UK Fisheries Administrations, to seek views on the level of the 2022 TAC, to permit the allocation of Clyde herring quota to UK fishermen.
1.1 Requirements for determining the TAC
As set out in ANNEX FISH.2F of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the Clyde herring stock is present only in UK waters, and is not a shared stock with the EU. Clyde herring is located exclusively in Scottish waters.
Setting the TAC for Clyde herring is therefore the sole responsibility of the UK. It should be noted that, similarly, responsibility for setting the Clyde herring TAC was delegated to the UK by the EU prior to 2021, in line with Article 6 of the EU TAC and Quota Regulation (Council Regulation (EU) 2020/123).
1.2 Control measures, data collection and sampling
There is no analytical assessment of the Clyde herring stock. Current knowledge of the stock is uncertain, and insufficient to be able to quantify a scientific basis for a TAC.
To inform TAC setting, Marine Scotland Science (MSS) produces an annual report on acoustic and fisheries data (included in section 5). This typically includes data from the Q1 International Bottom-Trawl Survey (IBTS), however in 2022, due to a vessel breakdown, this survey could not take place. Therefore, the report produced by MSS for 2022 is based on pre-existing data and information.
As fishery managers, we must act responsibly even in the absence of comprehensive scientific information.
Marine Scotland introduced additional control measures and a data collection and sampling programme in 2011. This was implemented through new licence conditions in order to improve our knowledge and management of the stock. A full list of the requirements in place can be found in section 4 and supporting information from Marine Scotland Science is given in section 5.
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