- MSC celebrates that 20.000th sustainable MSC-labelled product comes from Migros
- Potential measures against the Faroe Islands
- Council Mandate Brings CFP Reform Closer
- North Sea RAC meets the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association
- European Commission unveils maritime strategy for the Atlantic
- All Aboard for the Reform of Common Fisheries Policy
- New Managing Director at Qalut Vónin
- Commission calls for cooperation to boost sustainable aquaculture in Europe
- Russia complains over EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement before WTO
- Damanaki at Seafood Expo 2013
- Damanaki launching new online market intelligence tool for fisheries
- Action Plan to save sea birds
- World`s largest Seafood Trade Fair opens tomorrow
- Agriculture and Fisheries Council, 22 April 2013
- Reviving the Mediterranean blue economy through cooperation
Real Time and Area Closures
Real time closures are now established as a significant feature of the Cod Recovery Plan. Cod avoidance measures such as real time closures and the use of highly selective gear, allow vessels to “buy-back” at least some of the 25% cut in days at sea imposed at the last December Council. Real time closures were trialled last year by the Scottish Executive and have been applied more extensively this year.
Discussions between the NFFO, Defra and MFA have centred on how to introduce a workable system of closures that would allow a days buy-back, tailored to conditions in English waters, with the least disruption to fishing operations and vessel viability.
Whilst supporting the use of real time closures as an alternative to blunt and largely ineffectual methods such as effort control, the Federation has been concerned to:
Limit the size of closed areas to ensure that the displaced fleets have viable alternative fishing opportunities
Limit the number of closed areas in any single ICES square
Place a cap on the number of closures at any one time
Ensure that the criteria for triggering a closure are fair and reasonable
Ensure particular protection for vessels operating within the 12 mile zone, given their generally limited range and economic vulnerability
Provide clear exemptions for scallopers, potters and pelagic vessels which do not catch cod and which therefore should not be prevented from fishing within closed areas
Ensure that there is clear advice on when and where closures have been applied
In June the MFA applied 9 closed areas in the central and southern North Sea. These closures were based on 2008 catch data which provided an indication of where the most dense concentrations of cod might be found:
These area closures will be review monthly and replaced with more relevant areas depending on the data which shows areas in which historically (2008) there have been high concentrations of cod.
A system of real time closures will run in parallel to the area closures based on historical catch data
If a real time closure is triggered by logbook information / boardings by the Navy, in an area adjacent to an existing closed area then the existing closed area will be removed.
Inside the 12 mile limit the closures will be 20 square miles in size rather than the 50 square miles that applies outside 12 miles
Real time closures will apply from the date that they are triggered until the end of that calendar month
Inside the 12 mile limit economic impact zones will be applied if it is deemed that the closures would be too disruptive to the local fleets
The closures will apply to the central and southern North Sea and the Eastern English Channel. The large seasonal closure in the Irish Sea has so far precluded consideration of RTCs in the Irish Sea, not least because it is already a relatively small, restricted, stretch of water
An important context for these discussions is the ongoing negotiations between EU and Norway on a mandatory Real Time Closure system for the North Sea. If agreement is reached this could apply from 1st September 2009. The NFFO is lobbying these talks intensively to ensure that the new measures are reasonable.
WorldFishingToday d. 26-06-2009