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Fishing Boats

Volume 455: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from where he plans to allocate the quota for under 10 metre fishing boats. (110910)

Allocations for fishing vessels of 10 metres and under in length are calculated as a share of UK quotas for stocks, which are set at the December Fisheries Council.

The UK quotas are adjusted to take account of post- council and end of year swaps. Further adjustments are made to account for penalties that may apply as a result of overfishing of quotas in previous years and any quantities that may be banked or borrowed in line with European regulations.

The initial allocations made to 10 metre and under vessels are calculated from fixed quota allocations for each stock, which are based on the catch pattern of these vessels during a standard reference period. The allocations vary from stock to stock.

In addition, the share of the quota that 10 metre and under vessels receive is underpinned for a number of stocks that have traditionally been considered of key importance to those vessels. This provides those vessels with a guaranteed minimum share of the stocks, although the precise amounts may change in line with the UK quotas.

Opportunities are also taken to increase the allocations for the 10 metre and under vessels through the operation of economic links arrangements and by in-year swaps.