No formal consultation exercise was undertaken with the 10 metre and under fishing industry about the allocation of the additional 18 tonnes of cod quota in area VIId. It was not possible given the very short time available to arrange access to the additional fishing opportunity and still allow fishermen a reasonable chance to catch the fish before the end of the year.
The Marine and Fisheries Agency did, however, consult a number of individual fishermen on the south coast of England on a strictly informal basis on alternative allocation approaches before the final method of allocation was decided upon.
The additional 18 tonnes of quota the Marine and Fisheries Agency was able to obtain for the inshore vessels to fish for cod in area VIId will prove a valuable, if limited, fishing opportunity for those vessels that received the quota. It is estimated that the additional quota will have a total value of c.£36,000 at current market prices, or £1,000 for each vessel that receives an allocation of 500kg of quota. An allocation of 500kg of quota per vessel should allow those vessels to undertake normal fishing activity and minimise discards in a mixed fishery until the end of the year.
Given the strictly limited quota available, it was not possible to open the fishery to all the licensed vessels that may have wished to take part in the fishery and remain confident of meeting the UK obligations in ensuring there is no overfish of this quota.