Sea fisheries - scientific quota usage: overview

Overview of considerations for proposed uses of scientific quota within Scottish fisheries.

The use of scientific quota (SQ) within the UK is permitted through assimilated (formerly retained EU) law: Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 (Article 33, Paragraph 6), which states that:

“Catches taken in the framework of scientific research which are marketed and sold ... shall be counted against the quota applicable to the United Kingdom insofar as they exceed 2% of the quotas concerned.”

Within the UK, the Scottish Government has devolved authority for the management of Scotland’s use of SQ.

The 2% limit for SQ is a ceiling, not a target, and uses of this quota must be well justified. When considering proposals for use of SQ, decisions taken by the Marine Directorate will be informed by a number of factors and questions including (but not limited to) those listed below.

  • does the work deliver on key priorities?
  • is the proposed work expected to be an effective and efficient way of obtaining the information needed?
  • is the work expected to comply with relevant regulations for the area(s) indicated?
  • is the Marine Directorate resource required proportionate to the expected benefits of the work? Has the work been factored into Marine Directorate business planning?
  • is the SQ proposed for the work available for the year(s) indicated?
  • is the proposed compensation appropriate, and commensurate to the work required?
  • is the proposed compensation proportionate to the expected benefits of the work?
  • will the use of SQ for this work have a negative impact on any planned or unplanned future work?
  • is the proposed work the best use of the available SQ?



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