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) 2019 edible and Spider Crab effort annual limit

It was decided that days at sea limits will be set for vessels operating in this area for the full 2019 year. This will be enforced via a licence variation. The limit set out below 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 2019 to evaluate uptake to date and discuss the management approach for the remainder of 2019.

If the UK looks like it will exceed effort limits prior to 31 December 2019 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.

Final effort uptake for the 2018 management year is available here.

The allocation of days from 00.01 hours on 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 is 160 days.

Crab effort uptake for 2018 (last updated 12 December 2018)

Area European limit (kilowatt days) Real-time uptake to date (kilowatt days) Percentage of effort used to date
VII 543,366 463,745 85%
V-VI 702,292 580,533 83%

Scope

The Western Waters Days at Sea scheme detailed below applies to UK fishing vessels, 15 metre 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.

Days at Sea Limits

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

Any days remaining at the end of a management period will not be transferred across management periods.

Days at sea are not transferrable between fishing vessels.

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.

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

The effort limit is an annual limit and is set in consultation with the vessels active in the fishery, with the aim of maximising uptake of available effort. For 2019 the annual limit will be reviewed every other month, starting in February, and will be increased if fleet size and activity levels permit.

Recording of days at sea

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.

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

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.

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.

Western Water Scallops

Once your allocation of days are used

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 allocation of days from 00.01 hours on 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019 is 50 days.

Scallop effort uptake for 2018 (last updated 12 December 2018)

Area European limit (kilowatt days) Real-time uptake to date (kilowatt days) Percentage of effort used to date
VII 4,160,619 3,703,104 89%
V-VI 1,974,425 966,226 49%

2019

Days at sea

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.

Quarterly Days at Sea Limits

Any days remaining at the end of a management period will not be transferred across management periods.

Any days remaining at the end of a management period will not be transferred across management periods.

Days at sea are not transferrable between fishing vessels.

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.

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

Recording of days at sea

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.

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

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.

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.

Once your allocation of days are used

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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Published 11 June 2014
Last updated 20 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Link to December 2018 data added
  2. 2019 limits added
  3. Figures updated
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  8. Allocation days changed
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  10. The allocation of days from 00.01 hours on 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018 is 160 days changed to 200
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  13. Crab and scallop effort uptake updated to 26 June 2018
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  47. Crab and scallop data updated
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  55. Dates changed
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  61. European limit (kilowatt days) for area 7 scallops updated
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  75. Crab and Scallop uptake figures updated as at 8 December 2015
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  89. Following a meeting in Plymouth on the 22 July 2015 it was agreed to increase the effort limit from 150 days to 190 days for the year.
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  92. Spreadsheets updated
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  96. Dutch consultation information removed
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  98. Crab and scallop effort figures updated
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  101. Figures updated 12 May 2015
  102. Crab and scallop effort figures updated
  103. Crab and scallop effort figures updated
  104. Effort statistics updated
  105. The allocation of days from 00.01 on 1 April 2015 to 23.50 on 30 June 2015 is 60 days added
  106. Next uptake statistics will be published in April 2015 text added
  107. Crabs and Scallops effort data updated
  108. Crabs and Scallops effort data updated
  109. Consultation into conducting a scallop-demersal effort swap with the Netherlands added
  110. Updated the date of meeting
  111. Effort tables updated
  112. Crab and Scallop effort tables updated
  113. Effort figures updated
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  115. Western waters crab rules added
  116. Scallop and Crab days for 2015 set.
  117. Effort tables updated
  118. Western Waters Scallop Rules for 2015 added and the allocation of days for January to December 2014 changed from 52 to 150 days.
  119. Effort tables updated 12 December 2014
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  122. Change to scallop days
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  138. amended page in line with licence variation
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  147. Scallop and Crab effort updated - 25 July
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  150. First published.