United Kingdom, European Union and Norway – North Sea sprat fisheries consultations: agreed record for 2024

Agreed record of fisheries consultations between the European Union, Norway and the United Kingdom for the period 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025.

Sprat in ICES Division 3a, Subarea 4 and Division 2a for 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025

  1. A European Union Delegation, headed by Mael LE DRAST, a Norwegian Delegation, headed by Ann Kristin WESTBERG, and a United Kingdom Delegation, headed by Will FRANCIS, met in Svolvær on 22-24 May to consult on mutual fisheries relations for sprat in ICES Division 3a, Subarea 4 and Division 2a for the fishing season from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025.
  2. The Delegations agreed to recommend to their respective authorities the following fishery arrangements for the period 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025, as outlined in this Agreed Record. Accordingly, where this Agreed Record refers to the Delegations (or the Parties) having agreed on a matter, it should be read as an agreement to recommend to the Delegations’ respective authorities to implement the arrangements in this Agreed Record.
  3. The Delegations agreed to rollover the method to distribute the ICES single stock advice, which results in an allocation of 18.3% of the overall advice as the basis for setting the TAC for the Skagerrak/Kattegat.
  4. The United Kingdom Delegation recalled that it had not been party to that 2020 decision on allocation. The UK noted its preference for using an allocation method which more accurately reflects the spatial distribution of the resource but noted that this had not been adopted in advance of setting the TAC in 2024.
  5. The Norwegian Delegation agreed with the UK Delegation that, as a principle, allocation methods should reflect the spatial distribution of fish stocks.
  6. The European Union Delegation recalled its general position that allocation methods should continue to be based on historic fishing rights.
  7. The Delegations noted that ICES released the advice on sprat in Division 3a and Subarea 4 (Skagerrak, Kattegat and North Sea) on 18 April 2024. Based on its Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) approach, ICES advises that catches in the Skagerrak, Kattegat and North Sea for the period from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025 should be no more than 75 321 tonnes. This represents a decrease of 48% compared to advice for the 2023/24 fishing season.
  8. The Delegations noted the ecological significance of forage fish species and that their function and role should be considered when setting fishing opportunities, guided by the best available scientific advice.
  9. The Delegations agreed to apply a split of the TAC between the Skagerrak and Kattegat and the North Sea which would allocate 18.3% of the TAC to the Skagerrak and Kattegat.
  10. The Delegations consequently agreed to establish a TAC for sprat in ICES Division 3.a (Skagerrak and Kattegat) of 13 784 tonnes and in ICES Subarea 4 of 61 537 tonnes for the period 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025.
  11. The European Union Delegation notified other Delegations of its intention to rollover the provisions allowing for the transfer of EU quotas from waters of ICES division 3a to United Kingdom and European Union waters of division 2a and subarea 4, as laid out Annex 1, Table 4 of the Written Record of fisheries consultations between the United Kingdom and the European Union for 2024, signed on 5 December 2023.
  12. The Delegations agreed to work to increase the quality of the scientific advice for sprat in ICES Division 3a and Subarea 4, both in the short and longer term. For the period 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025, should surveys undertaken later in 2024 indicate that there may be a significant change in the stock abundance, Delegations will consult further ahead of the annual consultations for 2025 to 2026.

11 June 2024

For the European Union Delegation, Mael Le Drast

For the Norwegian Delegation, Ann Kristin Westberg

For the United Kingdom Delegation, Will Francis

The 2023 agreed record can be viewed on gov.scot.


Email: ceu@gov.scot


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