The following rules apply to the carriage and use of regulated gears in the Cod Recovery Zone (‘CRZ’) for the 2016-17 Management Year (which runs from 1st February 2016 to 31st January 2017). 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).
Days at sea will be allocated on the basis that vessels comply with the rules set out below. Compliance with the rules is a requirement of your fishing vessel licence, and there are other conditions on your 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 (MMO) Compliance and Enforcement Strategy, including (where appropriate) prosecution.
These rules may be regularly updated or amended during the 2016/17 Management Year, and it is recommended that you check these rules on a regular basis. In addition you should also be familiar with the relevant EU and UK national legislation governing the carriage and use of regulated gears in the CRZ.
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 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 or 2005; 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 Eligible vessels must apply to the MMO for an allocation of effort days in order to undertake fishing activity within the CRZ using regulated gear.
1.3 In addition, a licence entitlement which is administered by the MMO which has CRZ eligibility may apply for an allocation of effort days.
1.4 Vessels with eligibility may use any gears below their highest level of eligibility.
1.5 Gear hierarchy 2016/17:
- BT1 BT2
- GN1 GT1
### Table 1: Basic Allocation of effort days by gear type for the 2016/17 Management Year:
||Mesh size or type
||Maximum number of days allocated as a flat rate* (and maximum transfer limits)
||Of the maximum allocation, the total number of days permitted to fish in
||West of Scotland
||Equal to or larger than 100mm
||Equal to or larger than 70mm and less than 100mm
||Equal to or larger than 16mm and less than 32mm
||228 across all areas
||Equal to or larger than 120mm
||152 across all areas
||Equal to or larger than 80mm and less than 120mm
||152 across all areas
||Gill nets, entangling nets
||170 across all areas
||140 across all areas
||172 across all areas
- Days at sea will be allocated proportionally for management periods under 12 months.
2. Carrying regulated gears
2.1 If you are intending to carry regulated gears in the CRZ for the full duration of the 2016/17 management year – from 1 February 2016 to 31 January 2017 – the master of the vessel (or their representative) must submit an application form to their local MMO coastal office before 11 January 2016, notifying them which regulated gear(s) they intend to carry for the year.
2.2 Where an application for an allocation of effort days relates to a management period which is less than the full 2016/17 management year (one month or more), the basic allocation of effort days will be a proportion of the above figures in table 1.
2.3 An application to transfer in days for a vessel which does not have eligibility in its own right will also be considered a notification.
2.4 Any vessel fishing in the CRZ without notifying MMO will be in breach of its licence conditions and therefore subject to investigation. Please note: the MMO will not accept applications for allocations made after the start of the management period to which they apply and in no circumstances will an allocation of effort days be back-dated to cover the carriage and use of regulated gear prior to the allocation.
2.5 Only one type of regulated gear must be carried on board at any time unless an exemption has been issued by MMO.
2.6 Upon notification by the MMO, the master or licence holder must permit an observer to be on board the vessel during a fishing trip within the CRZ.
2.7 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. Real Time and Seasonal Closures
3.1 The vessel must not be present in any of the areas specified in the vessel’s licence (please note: closed areas will be varied on a regular basis), other than when transiting at a speed of greater than six knots except in the case of force majeure or adverse conditions.
MMO RTC closures, as with the closures introduced by Marine Scotland, are compulsory for all UK vessels of 10 metres and over, using demersal trawls (including otter, beam and seines), fixed nets (including gill, entangling and trammel) and longlines other than FDF vessels who are permitted within the MMO and Scottish RTC’s.
4. Basic days at sea allocation
4.1 MMO will issue a fishing authorisation to eligible vessels after receiving an application form. The master of the vessel must carry their authorisation on board at all times when absent from port and in the CRZ carrying regulated gears. While waiting to receive your fishing authorisation, any vessel at sea must carry a copy of its completed notification form on board at all times when absent from port and in the CRZ carrying regulated gears.
4.2 English-administered licence entitlements may be eligible to receive an allocation of days. An eligible entitlement that has applied and received an allocation of days is permitted to transfer these allocated days to an active vessel – transfers from entitlements are limited to 20% of the overall allocation of days.
4.3 Where a vessel notifies more than one gear type, its allocation of days will be the average of the rates for the categories notified. For example, where a vessel notifies TR1 and another gear, its maximum allocation of days will be the average of the two rates, and the TR1 days will be limited to the maximum number according to table 1.
4.4 Where a vessel notifies TR1 and TR2, the TR1 allocation of days will be reduced. In this case, the vessel will be allocated the number of days that would have been allocated to a vessel notifying TR1 only, minus 65 days in the North Sea and 50 days in the Irish Sea and West of Scotland (or proportionally for management periods under 12 months).
5. Recording your time at sea
5.1 TR1 Effort is counted in whole calendar days: therefore any period of activity for TR1 during a single calendar day is counted as one effort day.
5.2 Effort for all other gear types is recorded in hours; therefore 24 hours of activity is counted as one effort day, whether or not that use is continuous and whether or not parts of that 24 hour total fall in different calendar days.
5.3 Time at sea will not count against a vessel’s allocation where it comes to the aid of another vessel in need of emergency assistance or because it is transporting an injured person for emergency medical aid. The MMO must be advised as soon as possible.
5.4 Any time spent carrying (or using) regulated gears within the CRZ west of the French Line is not included as part of any calculation of effort days used, provided that during that time the vessel has installed and operating a vessel monitoring system. The ‘French Line’ is an imaginary line between the following points:
- Point A 60º15’N 04º00’W
- Point B 60º00’N 04º50’W
- Point C 59º40’N 05º30’W
- Point D 59º40’N 06º05’W
- Point E 59º20’N 06º30’W
- Point F 59º00’N 07º30’W
- Point G 58º40’N 07º40’W
- Point H 58º10’N 09º00’W
- Point J 57º50’N 09º20’W
- Point K 57º20’N 09º20’W
- Point L 57º00’N 09º00’W
- Point M 56º40’N 08º55’W
- Point N 55º30’N 09º20’W
- Point P 55º20’N 09º50’W
- Point Q 54º30’N 10º35’W
5.5 As in previous years in is the responsibility of the vessel owner to monitor the number of effort days used.
6. Participating in the Catch Quota Scheme
6.1 Eligible vessels participating in the Catch Quota Scheme will be allocated additional effort as follows:
- for vessels using TR1 – 105 additional effort days
- for vessels using GN1 – 50 additional effort days
6.2 A further allocation of days may be available for vessels taking part in the Catch Quota Scheme upon request. In order to be considered for a further allocation of effort days a written request and supporting business case should be made to the MMO after 30 April 2016. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be made before effort allocation is exhausted.
6.3 Vessels participating in the Catch Quota Scheme may not receive extra days through other exemptions or schemes. Vessels participating in the Catch Quota Scheme will not be permitted to transfer out days.
6.4 On the first occasion that your vessel reaches a 50 day or less balance of effort days the MMO where possible will advise the vessel nominee. If necessary the vessel must access additional days before fishing. This letter is only issued the first time you reach a balance of 50 days or less and it is your responsibility to ensure you have enough days before you begin each fishing trip.
7. Vessels that catch less than 5% cod
7.1 Eligible vessels can apply for an additional allocation of effort days provided that every use of the regulated gear within the CRZ will result in less than 5% of the total catch per fishing trip consisting of cod.
7.2 An additional allocation of up to 100 effort days can be applied for on this basis, subject to an overall cap of 200 days.
7.3 This additional allocation is conditional upon the 5% threshold. If in any given fishing trip cod comprises more than 5% of the vessels total catch, the full additional allocation will be withdrawn with immediate effect, and the vessel will revert to the basic allocation of effort days for the remainder of the relevant management period.
7.4 Where a vessel has exceeded the 5% cod threshold on any fishing trip during a previous management year, that vessel will not be eligible for the additional allocation described above in the 2016/17 management year.
7.5 If you wish to appeal a decision relating to this derogation you must submit a letter to MMO’s Effort Management Team. An appeal letter should include an explanation of what additional measures will be taken to ensure compliance in the future. Appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis and vessels should continue to operate under a basic allocation until a decision has been made.
8. Vessel targeting plaice in the North Sea without TR1 eligibility
8.1 Vessels currently without TR1 eligibility wishing to target plaice in the North Sea will be eligible to notify for an allocation of TR1 days providing the vessel notifies and fishes in accordance with the conditions of the less than 5% cod catch per trip rules as outlined in section 7 of the rules above, and meet the following criteria that the vessel has access to at least:
- 1,000 tonnes North Sea plaice quota, and
- 15 tonnes North Sea cod quota
8.2 Vessel owners seeking to apply for this additional allocation must demonstrate eligibility in accordance with 8.1 in writing, with confirmation that the PO of which the vessel is a member has allocated to it (including any swaps) sufficient quota to comply and confirming that the vessel is eligible to fish against it OR written confirmation that the vessel has leased sufficient quota to be eligible.
8.3 This option is not automatic for qualifying vessels. Any vessel wishing to make use of this option must to submit a new “application for days at sea” form, attaching evidence to demonstrate their fulfilment of the criteria set out in section 8.1.
8.4 Allocations of TR1 days will be made in the same way as for any other vessel eligible to use TR1 gears under the cod 5% rules. If an authorisation for both TR1 and TR2 days is requested the reduction in TR1 days described in section 4.4 will apply. The allocation of TR1 days will be awarded pro-rata from the 1June 2016.
8.5 In line with section 4.1 of these rules, TR1 gears must not be used until a written fishing authorisation from the MMO giving an allocation of days to the vessel is received by the applicant.
8.6 Any vessel using this proposed option that does not comply with the 5% cod catch per trip rules will be reverted back to their previous allocation and eligibility. The provisions of sections 7.3 to 7.5 of these rules apply to an allocation of TR1 days under this section.
8.7 The vessel owner must notify the MMO as soon as reasonably practicable if the eligibility criteria in section 8.1 ceases to be met and failure to do so constitutes a breach of these rules. Vessels which cease to meet the criteria in section 8.1 will have TR1 eligibility removed for the remainder of the 2016/17 management year and will not be eligible for a further allocation of days.
9. Vessel targeting nephrops in the Farne Deeps without TR1 eligibility
9.1 Twin/multi-rig vessels currently without TR1 eligibility that historically target nephrops in the Farne Deeps (ICES rectangles 38E8, 38E9, 39E8, 39E9, 40E8 and/or 40E9) will be eligible to notify for an allocation of TR1 days or a multiple gear (TR1/TR2) days allocation.
9.2 Vessel owners seeking to apply for this additional allocation must demonstrate that they are highly dependent on the nephrops fishery in the areas outlined above in accordance with 9.1 in writing.
9.3 This option is not automatic for qualifying vessels. Any vessel wishing to make use of this option must to submit a new “application for days at sea” form, attaching evidence to demonstrate their fulfilment of the criteria set out in section 9.1.
9.4 Allocations of TR1 days will be made in the same way as for any other vessel eligible to use TR1 gears. If an authorisation for both TR1 and TR2 days is requested the reduction in TR1 days described in section 4.4 will apply. The allocation of TR1 days will be awarded pro-rata from the 1 September 2016 once the MMO has validated the eligibility of the applicant.
9.5 Additional days will be allocated to those vessels that agree to fish under the 5% cod rules as found at point 7.
9.6 In line with section 4.1 of these rules, TR1 gears must not be used until a written fishing authorisation from the MMO giving an allocation of days to the vessel is received by the applicant.
10. TR2 vessels fishing for nephrops in the Irish Sea
10.1 A vessel:
- which is not exempt from effort controls;
- in relation to which there has been an application for a basic allocation of effort days in the CRZ for the use of TR2; and
- 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)
- must use one of the approved highly selective gear types throughout the management period. 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
10.2 Detailed information on the specifications of these (gear types)[https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/manage-your-fishing-effort-cod-recovery-zone] is available.
10.3 Vessels which are required to use highly selective gear for this purpose will receive an additional allocation of effort days for use in the Irish Sea.
10.4 A vessel which does not meet the three criteria under paragraph 8.1 above must not retain on board or land more than 300kg of nephrops per fishing trip.
11. TR2 vessels fishing for nephrops in the North Sea
11.1 Any TR2 vessel fishing for nephrops in the North Sea, defined as a nephrops vessel (see paragraph 8.1 for a definition), has the option to use one of a number of highly selective gear types listed below:
- Net Grid
- Net Grid variant 1
- Net Grid variant 2
11.2 Detailed information on the specifications of these (gear types)[https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/manage-your-fishing-effort-cod-recovery-zone] is available.
12.1 Vessels may receive extra days where they agree to fish using one of the specified selective gears listed below during the management period.
12.2 The Eliminator Trawl - This option is available to TR1 vessels. Vessels adopting this will receive an extra allocation of 24 days if they use gear that has all of the following features:
all top sheet wing netting sections and lower sheet wing netting sections must be made of diamond mesh netting of at least 600mm mesh size
the belly panel must be made of diamond mesh netting of at least 600mm mesh size and must extend across the full width of the trawl. It must be attached directly to the fishing line and extend toward the rear of the net for at least 7.5 metres (stretched length)
all top sheet netting directly above and forward of the belly panel must be made of diamond mesh netting of at least 600mm mesh size
12.3 130mm cod end - This option is available to TR1 vessels carrying gear with a cod end of mesh size 130mm or greater. Vessels adopting this will receive an extra allocation of 8 days.
13. Transferring days at sea
13.1 Transfers of days at sea will be limited to a set percentage of a vessel’s allocation (see table 1). However,
- any catch quota vessel or vessel that receives extra days due to the use of highly selective gears or catching less than 5% cod will not be permitted to transfer out days
- once days are transferred to a vessel they may not be transferred out
- transfers of days will only be allowed where the donor and recipient are both administered by MMO
- vessels that are ineligible to carry regulated gears can transfer in days from eligible vessels to allow them to fish in the CRZ
13.2 Where a transfer takes place, the number of days received will be adjusted in proportion to the comparative fishing capacity (measured in engine power) of the vessels involved.
13.3 Once you have submitted an application to transfer days to your vessel, you must wait for written confirmation that those days have been credited to your vessel before beginning to fish against those extra days.
13.4 Transfers from licence entitlements will be limited to 20% of the overall allocation of days.
14. Transferring eligibility to fish with regulated gear
14.1 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)[https://www.gov.uk/contact-local-marine-management-organisation] and provide written evidence confirming that this has been agreed by both parties.
14.2 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.
14.3 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. Where the gear eligibility of each licence differs, the resulting licence will have the eligibility of the highest common denominator of the combined parts.
14.4 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).
15. Changing administration
15.1 Changes in administration will only be considered in cases where there is a genuine operational transfer.
15.2 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 submitting a letter to MMO’s Effort Management Team.
15.3 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.
15.4 Vessels entering English administration will not be eligible to fish in the CRZ until MMO issues an authorisation in writing.
16. Once your allocation of days are used
16.1 When a vessel has exhausted its allocation of effort days, the vessel must cease using the regulated gears within the CRZ immediately and return to port. Further use of the regulated gears within the CRZ during the rest of the management period may only occur following a completed transfer of additional effort days to the vessel. Retrospective transfers will not be permitted.
If you have any queries in relation to any aspect of these rules please contact the MMO’s Effort Management Team by:
Telephone number: 0191 376 2596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org