Skip to main content

Mackerel: Fishing Catches

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the track record basis is for the figure of 257 tonnes of North sea mackerel for under 10 metre vessels in the initial allocation for 2007; and whether the records used show the extent of catches taken in areas IVa, b and c by vessels in each of those areas. (135618)

This allocation is not made on the basis of a track record. The allocation for 10 metre and under vessels in International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) area IVa is a fixed share (300 tonnes) of the UK's opening quota for North Sea mackerel. This may change during the year following swaps with other groups. In 2007, their initial allocation was reduced by 43 tonnes to 257 tonnes as a result of a UK overfish of North sea mackerel in 2006.

Details of end year allocations and landings of mackerel by 10 metre and under vessels from areas IVa, b and c for the last five years are set out in the following table.

Tonnes (liveweight)

End year alloc. for area IVa (incl. swaps)

Landings from Northern North sea (area IVa)

End year alloc. for area IVbc (incl. swaps)

Landings from central North sea (area IVb)

Landings from Southern North sea (area IVc)

2002

299

251

0

6

5

2003

315

357

11

5

5

2004

324

322

0

0

5

2005

364

365

26

0

4

2006

333

409

19

13

2

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether any of the 257 tonnes of North sea mackerel for under 10 metre vessels is available to vessels for areas IVb and c. (135619)

None of the UK’s opening quota for North sea mackerel, which is allocated to the 10 metre and under fishing by handline, is available to vessels operating in International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) areas IVb or IVc. However, following representations received from fishermen in the North East and East Anglia, Fisheries Administrations have acquired 40 tonnes of North sea mackerel, through an international swap, for their use in 2007. They are continuing to explore the scope to acquire further quota. In the meantime, we will be consulting interested parties shortly on management arrangements for this fishery.