Scottish days at sea allocation

22 Apr 2013
The need to allocate days at sea comes from the EU’s Cod Recovery Plan (CRP)

The need to allocate days at sea comes from the EU’s Cod Recovery Plan (CRP)

Marine Scotland has announced this year's days at sea allocations for West Coast fishermen and a new opportunity that it says will help to keep the fleet at sea throughout the whole year.

Days at sea allocations for west coast prawn vessels will be equivalent to 95% or more of the hours spent at sea on the west coast in 2009-2011, with a minimum rate of 110 days. This is with a view to returning allocations to 100% in 2014-2015.

These allocations mean that nearly 70% of the west coast prawn fleet will either continue to be exempt from days at sea altogether or will face no reduction. The remainder will face a reduction of no more than 5% in their normal time.

The government has also pledged to help skippers affected by reductions in time at sea by offering them an opportunity to become involved in paid science work connected to inshore fisheries and the marine environment on the west coast.

Richard Lochhead, Scottish Fisheries Secretary, said: “This will have the double benefit of making up potential income lost by vessels from a reduction in their time at sea while also giving us a better understanding of the fish stocks off the West Coast, allowing us to better manage a sustainable fishery for the future.”

The need to allocate days at sea comes from the EU’s Cod Recovery Plan (CRP) that controls vessels’ time at sea even when they catch very little cod.

The Scottish Government says it will continue to call for the CRP to be substantially amended, specifically to allow for the swift exemption from time at sea controls for vessels that catch very little cod. It also wants to remove the rigidities in the plan which prevent EU Member States from moving their allocations of time at sea between different sea areas so that days at sea can be better targeted on low cod impact fisheries.

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