Guidance

Manage your fishing effort: Western Waters crabs and scallops

Details of the approach to managing the over 15 metre Area VII crab and scallop fishing sector to keep the fishery within EU effort limits.

Western Water crabs

Western Waters (ICES Area VII) 2016 edible and Spider Crab effort annual limit

Defra and MMO officials met with a number of industry representatives with an interest in the area VII crab fishery on 11 November 2015 to discuss a management approach for the fishery during 2016 in line with the Western Waters regime. At this meeting, various management options were considered to ensure that the industry does not exceed the effort limit allocated to the UK under the Western Waters regime.

It was decided that days at sea limits will be set for vessels operating in this area for the full 2016 year. This will be enforced via a license variation. The 190 day limit will be applicable to all over 15 metre vessels with a shellfish entitlement operating in area VII and targeting crabs under the Western Waters regime.

The MMO will actively monitor days at sea uptake by vessels and review discussions will take place later in 2016 to evaluate uptake to date and discuss the management approach for the remainder of 2016.

If the UK looks like it will exceed effort limits prior to 31 December 2016 as set by the Commission, then fisheries administrations will be required to close the area VII crab fishery to over 15 metre vessels for the remainder of the year in line with the Western Waters regime.

The days at sea limit from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 is 220 days.

Crab effort uptake for 2016 (last updated 21 September 2016)

Area European limit (kilowatt days) Real-time uptake to date (kilowatt days) Percentage of effort used to date
VII 543,366 337,022 62%
V-VI 702,292 433,518 62%

The final effort uptake for the 2015 management year is now available.

2016

1. Scope

1.1 The Western Waters Days at Sea scheme detailed below applies to UK fishing vessels, 15 metres and over in length, fishing for Edible/Brown Crab (Cancer Pagurus) and spider crab (Maja Squinado ) in International Council for the exploration of the sea (ICES) Area VII.

2. Days at Sea Limits

2.1 The maximum number of days a vessel can fish for crabs in ICES Area VII is established in the vessel’s fishing license.

2.2 Any days remaining at the end of a management period will not be transferred across management periods. 2.3 Days at sea are not transferrable between fishing vessels.

2.4 The number of days spent at sea will be monitored for enforcement purposes by MMO/Devolved Administration offices. However, it is your responsibility to monitor your uptake and be aware of how many days you have available. If you wish to check the information held by the MMO on your vessel’s activity you should contact your local MMO coastal office.

2.5 It is an offence to exceed the maximum number of days at sea established in your vessel’s fishing license, and action may be taken in accordance the relevant fisheries administration’s compliance and enforcement strategy.

3. Recording of days at sea

3.1 Days at sea are counted in calendar days (midnight to midnight) or part thereof. For example a fishing trip leaving port at 0200h and returning to port at 0100h the following day counts as two calendar days. In comparison, a fishing trip leaving port at 1000h and returning at 1700h the following day is also counted as 2 calendar days.

3.2 Trip data must be recorded in UTC (universal time constant) with no daylight saving adjustment.

3.3 Steaming trips are not counted against a vessel’s days at sea providing that no gear is deployed or hauled, no landings are made and vessel activity is declared as ‘CRU – steaming/cruising’ on the electronic logbook.

3.4 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. You must advise your port of administration in such cases.

4. Once your allocation of days are used

4.1 Any vessel that has exhausted its allocation of days must cease fishing for crabs in Area VII immediately and return to port. The vessel may then undertake other activities.

Western Water scallops

The days at sea limit from 1 July 2016 to 30 September 2016 is 80 days.

Scallop effort uptake for 2016 (last updated 21 September 2016)

Area European limit (kilowatt days) Real-time uptake to date (kilowatt days) Percentage of effort used to date
VII 3,365,619 2,073,869 62%
V-VI 1,974,425 817,054 41%

The final effort uptake for the 2015 management year is now available here.

2016

1. Days at sea

1.1 The Western Waters Days at Sea scheme detailed below applies to UK fishing vessels, 15 metres and over in length, fishing for either king (Pecten Maximus) or queen scallops (Aequipecten opercularis) in ICES Area VII.

2. Quarterly Days at Sea Limits

2.1 The maximum number of days a vessel can fish for scallops in ICES area VII is established in the vessel’s fishing license.

2.2 Any days remaining at the end of a management period will not be transferred across management periods. 2.3 Days at sea are not transferrable between fishing vessels.

2.4 The number of days spent at sea will be monitored for enforcement purposes by MMO/Devolved Administration offices. However, it is your responsibility to monitor your uptake and be aware of how many days you have available. If you wish to check the information held by the MMO on your vessels activity you should contact your local MMO coastal office.

2.5 It is an offence to exceed the maximum number of days at sea established in the vessels’ fishing license and action may be taken in accordance with the relevant fisheries administration’s compliance and enforcement strategy.

3. Recording of days at sea

3.1 Days at sea are counted in calendar days (midnight to midnight) or part thereof. For example a fishing trip leaving port at 0200h and returning to port at 0100h the following day counts as two calendar days. In comparison, a fishing trip leaving port at 1000h and returning at 1700h the following day is also counted as two calendar days.

3.2 Trip data must be recorded in UTC (universal time constant) with no daylight saving adjustment.

3.3 Steaming trips are not counted against a vessel’s days at sea providing that no gear is deployed or hauled, no landings are made and vessel activity is declared as ‘CRU – steaming/cruising’ on the electronic logbook.

3.4 Time at sea will not count against a vessels 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. You must advise your port of administration in such cases.

4. Once your allocation of days are used

4.1 Any vessel that has exhausted its allocation of days must cease fishing for scallops in Area VII immediately and return to port. The vessel may then undertake other activities.

Further information

How to inspect your fishing gear and make sure your time at sea is not counted against your effort

Skippers or owners are required to notify their local coastal office if they intend to go to sea to inspect their fishing gear.

On electronic logbooks, these trips should be coded with a departure message of ‘Other’ (OTH), with a comment stating that you are going to inspect your fishing gear. This will allow MMO to make vessel monitoring system data with gear inspections consistent with one another.

No landings must be made during these trips. This will ensure that we do not include these trips in effort uptake calculations.

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Contact information

Effort Management Team

0191 376 2596

effort@marinemanagement.org.uk