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Allocating and Managing Welsh Quota

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The annual December EU Fisheries Council of Ministers agrees the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and other Fishing Opportunities of the different commercial species that may be landed by EU Member States in the following year

Under the principle of ‘relative stability’ the agreed TACs are then split amongst the Member States which have a historic interest in the individual fisheries. The UK will therefore receive a proportion of the total catch allowed in each ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) sea area agreed at the Council.

The UK Government then apportions the agreed quantities of the various fish quotas amongst the four UK Fisheries Administrations on a historic catch basis, the reference period 2008 – 2012 being the most beneficial to Welsh catchers.  

The purpose of Welsh quota management arrangements is to enable the fishing industry to make full use of the fishing opportunities which we receive every year, while ensuring that allocations are not exceeded.

The Welsh Government (and the other Administrations) issues most of the annual allocations to Fish Producer Organisations (POs), of which there is one administered directly by the Welsh Government. The POs nominally manage their members’ quotas on their behalf. Once allocations are made to POs, the quota is fully within their control but will remain subject to the overarching quota management rules.

The Welsh Government monitors uptake and can 'close' fisheries (i.e. prohibit further landings of species from sea areas through the varying of fishing licences) if the various sectors take their full allocation.

The landings of vessels that are not PO members (known as the "non-sector" in the case of over 10 metre vessels, and the "10 metre and under" fleet) are managed directly by the Welsh Government. Vessels in these groups fish against catch limits set by the Government, which may be set monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly. These limits are enforced through the vessel fishing licences.

Further information can be obtained in the Welsh Quota Management Rules at the bottom of the page.

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