Statutory guidance

Manage your fishing effort: Sole Recovery Zone 2016/2017

Detailed scheme rules and application forms to fish in the Sole Recovery Zone with regulated gears.

Documents

Sole Recovery Zone days at sea application form

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Sole Recovery Zone Days at Sea: Apply to transfer days at sea

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Conditions for using a beam trawl in Area VIIe

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Letter to vessel owners about 2014/15 scheme

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Detail

1. Overview

1.1 The following rules apply to the carriage and use of regulated gears in the Sole Recovery Zone (SRZ) for the 2016 to 2017 Management Year (which runs from 1 February 2016 to 31 January 2017), The SRZ Scheme applies to vessels of 10 meters and over in length. The rules apply in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Area VIIe (Western Channel).

1.2 Compliance with the rules is a condition of your fishing vessel licence. 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.

1.3 These rules may be updated or amended during the 2016 to 2017 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 SRZ.

2. Is my vessel eligible to carry and use regulated gears in the SRZ?

2.1 A vessel will be eligible to carry and use regulated gears in the Sole Recovery Zone where:

  • the vessel has a record of fishing activity with regulated gear in the years 2002 to 2014

  • vessel 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 activity

2.2 Eligible vessels may apply to the MMO for an allocation of effort days in order to undertake fishing activity within the SRZ using regulated gear (but see the exemption in paragraph 5).

2.3 In addition, a person who holds a licence entitlement which is administered by the MMO and which would be eligible under one of the two criteria above to carry and use regulated gears in the SRZ if it was an active licence, may apply for an allocation of effort days.

3. Transferring eligibility to carry and use regulated gears

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

3.2 In cases where a vessel with eligibility is sold without its licence and the 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.

3.3 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 SRZ.

3.4 Where an eligible licence is divided into parts, all parts carry the eligibility of the original licence, except where the part does not carry with it engine power.

4. Which gears are regulated?

4.1 Paragraph 2 of Annex IIC of Council Regulation (EU) 2015/104 sets out a list of the regulated gears as follows:

  • Beam trawls with a mesh size equal to or larger than 80mm

  • static nets (including gill nets, trammel nets and tangle-nets) with a mesh size smaller than 220mm

5. Exemption for certain vessels catching less than 300kg of Dover Sole

5.1 A vessel which would otherwise be required to comply with these SRZ rules is exempt if:

  • it has a track record between 2011 and 2014 of catching less than 300kg (live weight) of Dover Sole per management year

  • it uses static nets (including gill nets, trammel nets and tangle-nets) with a mesh size equal to or larger than 120mm within the SRZ

  • it catches less than 300kg (live weight) of Dover Sole during the 2016/17 management year; and

  • it does not tranship any fish at sea to another vessel

5.2 Any vessel which is exempt under paragraph 5.1 does not require a basic allocation of effort days in order to carry and use regulated gear within the SRZ in accordance with the exemption.

5.3 However, where any of the conditions in paragraph 5.1 are not met, the vessel concerned ceases to be exempt from the SRZ rules with immediate effect.

6. How do I apply for an allocation of effort days?

6.1 Effort days are allocated for use within a management period. An application for an allocation of effort days may therefore be made either:

  • for a management period covering the entire 2016 to 2017 management year

  • for a management period of one month or more within the 2016 to 2017 management year

6.2 In order to apply for an allocation of effort days, the master or owner or an eligible vessel (or their representative) must submit an application form to their local MMO coastal office before:

  • the 9 January 2016 where the intended management period is for the entire 2016 to 2017 management year

  • the start of the management period for which they are applying for shorter management periods

6.3 Please note: the MMO will not accept applications for allocations made after the 9 January 2016 (for an intended management period covering the entire 2016 to 2017 management year), or after the start of an intended shorter management period. 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.

6.4 The completed application form must include details of all of the regulated gear(s) which are intended to be carried and used.

6.5 Upon an application for an allocation for effort days being successful, the MMO will issue an authorisation letter. The authorisation letter must be carried at all times by the master of the vessel when carrying or using regulated gears in the SRZ.

7. What is the ‘Basic Allocation’ of effort days?

7.1 The table below sets out the Basic Allocation of effort days by gear type for the 2016 to 2017 management year (as taken from paragraph 5 of Annex IIC of Council Regulation (EU) 2015/104):

Gear type Basic Allocation of effort days
Beam trawls with a mesh size equal to or larger than 80mm 207
Static nets with a mess size equal to or smaller than 220mm 164

7.2 The above Basic Allocations may be altered by one or more of the following factors:

7.3 Allocation for management periods shorter than the full management year

7.3.1 Where an application for an allocation of effort days relates to a management period which is less than the full 2016 to 2017 management year, the basic allocation of effort days will be a proportion of the above figures (rounded down to the nearest full day).

7.3.2 For example, if an application is for use of a beam trawl with a mesh size equal to or larger than 80mm within a management period of 3 months, then the basic allocation will be 52 days (207 days divided by 12 times by 3 and rounded down to the nearest full day).

7.4 Allocation for more than one type of regulated gear

7.4.1 Where an application for an allocation of effort days relates to both types of regulated gear, the allocation will be 186 days of which 164 days can be used fishing with static nets (which is an average of the basic allocations of both regulated gear types, rounded down to the nearest full day).

8. What are my obligations under the Sole Recovery Zone rules?

8.1 In addition to ensuring that all relevant legislation and fishing vessel licence conditions are complied with, there are other obligations under these rules which you must comply with.

8.2 Time recording and calculating effort days used

8.2.1 Time spent utilising SRZ effort days must be accurately recorded. In these rules a ‘day’ is a continuous period of time up to 24 hours spent within the SRZ carrying or using regulated gear. A continuous period of time is calculated:

  • from the point at which the vessel either
  • enters the SRZ; or
  • where the vessel is within a port which is located within the SRZ, the vessel leaves that port;
  • by counting all of the time spent by the vessel within the SRZ while carrying or using the regulated gear, to the point the vessel leaves the SRZ or enters a port which is located within the SRZ.

8.2.3 Any time spent:

  • coming to the aid of another vessel which requires emergency assistance
  • transporting an injured person for emergency medical aid and which would otherwise be counted as part of a continuous time period in accordance with paragraph 8.2.1, is not counted for that purpose. You must notify your local MMO office of any time spent for either of these purposes as soon as possible after the event.

8.3 Prohibition on using Beam Trawls trans-zonally during the same fishing trip

8.3.1 During the same fishing trip a vessel must not use Beam trawls with a mesh size equal to or larger than 80mm both within the Relevant Area (defined in 8.3.3 below) and within either ICES Area VIId or VIIh.

8.3.2 A vessel which has used Beam trawls with a mesh size equal to or larger than 80mm within the Relevant Area must return to port and land any catch before using such Beam trawls within either ICES Area VIId or VIIh.

8.3.3 The ‘Relevant Area’ is that part of the SRZ to the east of the 5 degrees West line of longitude.

8.4 Other Obligations

8.4.1 Only one type of regulated gear may be carried on board a vessel at any time, unless an exemption has been issued by the MMO.

8.4.2 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 SRZ.

9. Transferring effort days between vessels

9.1 It is permissible during the management period for effort days from the basic allocation to be transferred:

  • Between vessels which have both received basic allocations of effort days during the management period;

  • From a vessel which has received a basic allocation of effort days to a vessel which has not previously applied for a basic allocation (and which following transfer will be able to use regulated gear in the SRZ); or

  • From a person who has received a basic allocation of effort days by virtue of an eligible licence entitlement (see paragraph 2.3).

9.2 There are limitations on transferring effort days:-

  • there is a limit to the amount of efforts days which can be transferred out from a vessel during the management period (this limit is an average of what the donating vessel used and transferred out between 2001 and 2005. Records of these transfer limits can be provided by MMO)

  • effort days may only be transferred where both vessels (or the licence entitlement and the vessel) are administered by the MMO

  • effort days which are transferred to a vessel may not subsequently be transferred from that vessel to another vessel

  • effort days may not be transferred to a vessel in order to cover any previous use of regulated gears within the SRZ not covered by effort days held in respect of the vessel

  • effort days may not be transferred to a person holding a licence entitlement

9.3 In order to transfer effort days, an application must be submitted to the MMO from the owner/master of the vessel to which the effort days are to be transferred. Following approval of the application for the transfer of effort days, written confirmation of the transfer will be provided by the MMO. Until the written confirmation is received, the additional effort days cannot be used by the receiving vessel.

9.4 Where a transfer takes place, the number of effort days received will be adjusted in proportion to the comparative fishing capacity (measured in engine power) of the vessels involved.

10. What happens once I have used all of my allocation of effort days?

10.1. When a vessel has exhausted its allocation of effort days, the vessel must cease using the regulated gears within the SRZ immediately and return to port. Further use of the regulated gears within the SRZ during the rest of the management period may only occur following a completed transfer of additional effort days to the vessel (see paragraph 9.3).

11. Further Information

11.1 If you have any queries in relation to any aspect of these rules please contact the MMO’s Effort Management Team on the following contact details:-

Telephone number: 0191 3762596

Email effort@marinemanagement.org.uk