New arrangements for managing quotas are being trialled in Scotland’s fisheries.
The project will run until the end of 2021 and see the establishment of new legal entities called Quota Management Groups (QMGs).
Based in Scotland to administer Scottish registered vessels, these will have responsibility for allocating sustainable quotas within their boat group.
Currently, responsibility for managing quotas rests with Fisheries Producer Organisations (POs). QMGs will operate alongside them until the end of 2021, at which point a full evaluation will take place.
Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP said:
“We are constantly looking at how we can manage our fishery resources in the most efficient and sustainable way.
“QMGs will operate in line with SNP Government objectives and demonstrate they have the expertise, systems and processes in place to manage quotas effectively and sustainably on behalf of their vessels.
“By working closely with Marine Scotland, the QMGs will increase the understanding of our sea fisheries sector. We believe the trial will benefit Scottish coastal communities and inform future policy.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“POs are a remnant of EU legislation and the UK has now taken Scotland out of the EU, so it’s now time to consider the next step.
“The SNP Government allows private entities to manage quotas as it gives the fishing industry greater independence in managing fisheries efficiently and sustainably.
“To obtain sectoral QMG status, organisations must evidence sufficient expertise in the management of fishing; are sufficiently economically active in specified areas; have internal governance arrangements, processes and systems in place for the allocation of quota to vessels and for monitoring uptake in order to ensure effective management; and contribute to the achievement of SNP Government objectives.
“I look forward to seeing communities along the Firth of Clyde benefit from this trial in the long term.”
The SNP Government document “Future of fisheries management in Scotland: national discussion paper” published in March 2019 can be viewed here.
Further information on the process and how to apply, can be found here.