Management of fishing effort

There are a number of schemes which depend upon vessels reporting in when they start to encounter particular fish at levels over a given threshold.

North Sea

A Voluntary Real Time Closure (RTC) Scheme has been implemented throughout the cod recovery zone since early 2008. Initially this was to protect spawning cod but was later expanded to cover all cod. When a high abundance of cod is identified a limited area is closed for a fixed period of 21 days after which the area will automatically re-open. Designed to reduce mortality on concentrations of cod using data from catches and tracking information from vessels, enabled an estimated reduction of 10% in cod mortality during 2009.


In Scottish waters there are a maximum of nine RTCs in place at any one time. There are also seasonal closures. Localised RTCs provide necessary protection for local aggregations of fish. More about this can be found here and here.