Statutory guidance

Manage your fishing effort: Cod Recovery Zone

Information on the Cod Recovery Scheme and landing obligation.


Technical gear specifications for TR2 vessels fishing for nephrops in the Irish Sea and the North Sea

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The EU Commission has recognised that the Cod Recovery Scheme has become an obstacle to the implementation of the landing obligation. The fishing effort regime has, therefore been discontinued and there will be no need to apply for days at sea to fish in the Cod Recovery Zone in 2018. If you are eligible to fish in the area you should have received a Fishing Authorisation which will permit you to be active in the zones.

If you have a historical track record of fishing in the area but have not received a Fishing Authorisation please contact the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) Effort Management Team on the contact details below.

The following rules apply to the carriage and use of regulated gears in the Cod Recovery Zone (‘CRZ’) for the 2018-19 management year (which runs from 1st February 2018 to 31st January 2019). The rules apply in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (‘ICES’) areas in the North Sea (ICES Area IIa (EU) & IV), West of Scotland (ICES Area Vb (EU) & VIa), Eastern Channel VIId and the Irish Sea (ICES Area VIIa).

Compliance with the rules is a requirement of your fishing vessel licence, and there are other conditions on your over ten metre licence which are associated with these rules.

Failure to comply with these rules or any condition of your fishing vessel licence is likely to be investigated and may result in action being taken in line with the Marine Management Organisation’s Compliance and Enforcement Strategy, including (where appropriate) prosecution.

These rules may be regularly updated or amended and it is recommended that you check these rules on a regular basis. In addition you should be familiar with the relevant EU and UK national legislation governing the carriage and use of regulated gears in the CRZ including those given below: You can check for updates..

European regulations coming out in January of each year fix the annual fishing opportunities and total allowable catches for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in Union waters and, for Union fishing vessels, in certain non-Union waters. Other relevant regulations are:

Regulation (EU) 2016/2094 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 November 2016 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1342/2008 establishing a long-term plan for cod stocks and the fisheries exploiting those stocks.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009; establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy, amending Regulations (EC) No 847/96, (EC) No 2371/2002, (EC) No 811/2004, (EC) No 768/2005, (EC) No 2115/2005, (EC) No 2166/2005, (EC) No 388/2006, (EC) No 509/2007, (EC) No 676/2007, (EC) No 1098/2007, (EC) No 1300/2008, (EC) No 1342/2008 and repealing Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1627/94 and (EC) No 1966/2006.

COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 850/98 of 30 March 1998 for the conservation of fishery resources through technical measures for the protection of juveniles of marine organisms.

1. Eligibility to fish with regulated gears in the Cod Recovery Zone (CRZ)

1.1 A vessel will be eligible to carry and use regulated gears in the CRZ where either:

  • the vessel has a record of fishing activity with regulated gear in the years 2006 or 2007; or
  • eligibility has been obtained via the transfer of a single licence (or the aggregation of two or more licences) where the originating vessel(s) has such a record of fishing

1.2 Vessels with eligibility may use any of the following gears:

  • TR1
  • BT1 BT2
  • GN1 GT1
  • LL1
  • TR2
  • TR3

2. Carrying regulated gears

Vessels may only transit through the CRZ other than in accordance with these rules if they comply with the requirements set out in articles 29 and 47 of Council Regulation (EC) 1224/2009.

3. TR2 vessels fishing for nephrops in the Irish Sea

To reduce discards it is recommended that a vessel which is to undertake fishing activity in the Irish Sea (ICES Area VIIa) targeting nephrops (i.e. catching 300kg or more of nephrops in any one fishing trip) use one of the approved highly selective gear types The highly selective gears are:

(1) 200mm square mesh panel developed for the nephrop fishery in North West England in 2012 and 2013 (2) 200mm square mesh panel (only available for vessels 12 metres or under in length) (3) 300mm square mesh panel (4) Seltra ‘300’ trawl (5) Seltra ‘270’ trawl (6) Faithlie panel (7) Flip-Flap trawl (8) Net Grid or variants (9) Inclined separator panel (10) Swedish Grid

For further details please refer to this guide.

4. Transferring eligibility to fish with regulated gear

4.1 Where a vessel owner wishes to transfer eligibility to the licence before a change of ownership of either vessel, licence, or both, they must notify the local MMO coastal office and provide written evidence confirming that this has been agreed by both parties.

4.2 In cases where a vessel with eligibility is sold without its licence and MMO has not been notified of any transfer of eligibility or documentary evidence has not been provided, it will be assumed that eligibility remains with the purchased vessel.

4.3 Where eligibility is obtained via the transfer and combination of two or more licences, each licence must hold eligibility to carry or use regulated gears within the CRZ. Where eligibility is acquired through combining multiple licences, each of the licences contributing engine power must carry eligibility to fish within the CRZ with regulated gear.

4.4 Where an eligible licence is split, each part of the licence carries the same eligibility as the original licence (unless the part of the licence does not carry engine power).

5. Changing administration

5.1 Changes in administration will only be considered in cases where there is a genuine operational transfer.

Please link to the change in administration application form.

5.2 All requests for changes into English administration by vessels with CRZ eligibility will take into consideration the current eligibility of the vessel and its contribution to the 2004 to 2006 effort baseline. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Appeals to such decisions can be made by contacting the MMO’s Effort Management Team.

5.3 Any vessel currently under English administration wishing to transfer to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must contact the administration it wishes to transfer to in order to ensure their eligibility is transferable.

5.4 Vessels entering English administration will not be eligible to fish in the CRZ until MMO issues an authorisation in writing.

Further information

If you have any queries in relation to any aspect of these rules please contact the MMO’s Effort Management Team by:

Telephone number: 0208 225 6947 or email

Published 26 June 2014
Last updated 10 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Text updated
  2. Date added
  3. Text added
  4. Section 9 added and replaced
  5. 7 and 8 points amended
  6. Section 8 added
  7. 3.1 text updated
  8. 2016-17 Cod Recovery Scheme Rules added
  9. Applications sought for English Catch Quota Trials 2015 link removed and letter to vessel owners
  10. 3, 3.1 and 3.2 Real Time and Seasonal Closures information changed
  11. 2015 to 2016 management year information added
  12. First published.