Regulatory controls

The UK has been piloting an alternative quota management system.

The Catch Quota Management Scheme (CQMS) or fully documented fishery (FDF) as it is often now referred to, is being seen as an important element in enabling managers and industry to reduce discards. Coupled with the use of highly selective gears, and other measures it is seen as a valuable tool to address discards and improve the stock recovery for cod.


In Scotland

Under the Marine Scotland Catch Quota Management Scheme (CQMS), launched in July 2009, participating vessels must retain on board and land all cod that is caught, regardless of size and marketability, and must cease fishing operations when their individual cod-catch ceiling is reached. In 2011 Marine Scotland increased the number of approved vessels to 25 (from 58 applicants). An early and recognisable feature of the catch quota trials is that it clearly provides the incentives for skippers to optimise their gear selectivity to maximise economic return. The trial is continuing in 2014.

You can find more about this here.

In England

In May 2010 the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) initiated a trial to investigate the use of catch quotas to reduce discards of cod in the North Sea. Fishermen who joined the pilot scheme had to account for, and land, all the cod they took out of the sea, regardless of size, with CCTV used for monitoring and enforcement. In 2011 the trial was increased to 15 vessels, three in the South West and 12 in the North Sea. Vessels taking part were not permitted to discard any West Channel sole or North Sea cod, including those below the minimum size. Once each vessels quota for these stocks was used up the vessels had to stop fishing for all species. Vessels taking part were awarded additional quota for sole and cod to account for a proportion of the fish that might otherwise have been discarded. The trial continued in 2012 and 2013 with seven vessels in the Western Channel (four are participating in trials involving sole, plaice, angler and megrim) and 12 in the North Sea, and is continuing in 2014.

You can find more about this from the MMO.

Case studies and fact sheets