Fishery Exemptions in force in UK waters from January 2022

Fishery Exemptions in force in UK waters from January 2022

The majority of current exemptions will be in force from 1st January 2022 and until the end of 2024.

A number of amendments to the current set of exemptions will be in force from January.  As outlined below, these amendments include the introduction of three new exemptions and the discontinuation of two exemptions.  These amendments will ensure the exemptions in force from January are up to date and are scientifically justified.

Other amendments will also be made to current exemptions, including changes in fishing practices, the geographical scope of specific exemption(s) or the technical fishing gear that the use of the exemption(s) is conditional upon.

The three new exemptions to be introduced and the two current exemptions to be discontinued from 1st January are:

Introduction of New Exemptions and Amendments

    1. A survivability exemption for sprat and horse mackerel caught in the UK fishery targeting pelagic species mostly not subject to quotas caught in non-Union ICES divisions VIIe and VIIf. There is a similar exemption currently applying to mackerel and herring, and we are extending it to also cover sprat and horse mackerel in the ring net fishery.
    2. A survivability exemption for sole caught within six nautical miles of the coast, but outside identified nursery areas in the under 10m otter trawl fishery in ICES divisions VIIa, VIId, VIIe, VIIf and VIIg.
    3. There is currently a sole exemption in VIId, and we are extending it to these neighbouring ICES areas.
    4. de minimis exemption for monkfish, up to a maximum of 7% of the total annual catches of that species by vessels using beam trawls in ICES divisions VIId – VIIj.

Lastly, for information a new SepNep definition will also be in force from January, which allows for the 80mm square mesh upper cod-end in SepNep trawls in IVb: ‘except that in United Kingdom waters of ICES division 4b the uppermost cod-end may be constructed with square meshes of at least 80 mm”

For other amendments coming into force from January please see the document attached.

Discontinuation of Current Exemptions 

The following exemptions will be discontinued:

  1. Cod from the de minimis exemption for cod and whiting in ICES areas IVa and IVb. The whiting element of the exemption will continue unaffected.
  2. De minimis exemption for ling caught by vessels using bottom trawls in ICES area IV.

Amendments to exemptions in force in EU waters from January 2022

There are also a number of amendments to exemptions in force in EU waters from 1 January.  These amendments are outlined in the attachment.  Under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperational Agreement, all fishers, UK or EU registered, fishing in EU waters have the option to use these exemptions, as long as they meet the conditions of the exemptions (and vice versa for all fishers in UK waters).

The current list of exemptions in force in 2021 can be found here on the Scottish Government website. A revised list for the exemptions in force in 2022 will be published on the Scottish Government website in due course.

You may also wish to consult the MMO website publication, which can be found here.