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Fishing Quotas for Small Vessels 21 November 2003

The Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry has written to all Isle of Man fishing vessel owners, outlining legislative changes that will needed to allow the Manx Fish Producers' Organisation Ltd to operate fully next year.

Under existing regulations, owners of small (under-10m vessels) can land quota species against the UK quota allocation. From the 1st January, if the Manx Fish Producers' Organisation is granted responsibility for managing quota on behalf of its members, these vessels will have to come under the umbrella of the PO.

With such a tight timetable, responses are sought from fishermen by Monday the 1st December. These should be sent directly to the Department.

Notes:

  • Under current arrangements Isle of Man vessels fish against non-sector allocations decided on a monthly basis by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in London.
  • Fisheries for vessels of 10 m and under have not been subject to variations in amounts that may be caught. However, with more boats entering the 10 metre and under fleet and fishermen down-sizing, a shortage of quota with the under 10m fleet has meant that for the first time, some fisheries are also being managed by quota variation.
  • Closures are therefore becoming more common as the TAC is exhausted before the end of the year. This situation is expected to become much more common with effect from next year. We therefore need to put in place structures that will address this situation.
  • When the Island takes up its own quota management responsibilities, Isle of Man vessels, including those of 10 metres or under, will no longer be able to fish against the UK non-sector quotas. The key issue, therefore, is how to include all Manx fishing vessels in the quota management arrangements. This is the key issue of the consultation document sent to all fishermen.

Deadline for response is Monday 1 December 2003.

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