Fisheries quota swapping and leasing arrangements and potential conflicts with the Landing Obligation.

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First published:
19 July 2019
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If a Member State has too few quotas for some species, it may be able to swap quotas with other Member States. This is an international quota swap. Quota swapping and leasing arrangements can correct inefficiencies within the initial allocations. Quota is leased and swapped, transferring the quota to the efficient operators. This means:

  • capital equipment can be used to full capacity
  • lower average fixed costs
  • quotas are fully used

In mixed fisheries, a vessel may have quota for more than one species. This can cause conflicts under the Landing obligation. The vessel may have insufficient quota for, but must land, unwanted catches. This can potentially stop fishing, and is called a choke scenario.

Guidance on international quota swaps is now available on the UK Government website.

This sets out the process the UK fisheries administrations will follow. It considers the implications of requests for IQS in light of current choke threats. 

It supplements the provisions in the UK Quota Management Rules. But the guidance is not accompanied by a list of choke stocks. This is to avoid any assumption that:

  • only listed stocks will be considered
  • requests involving listed stocks will be refused