Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Entitlement of quota - FFL viewpoint.

Answering FFLs Position On Fishing Entitlement


FFL are adamant that all repatriated quota is held as a national resource and is divided out to all fishermen in a community.

Under the principle of one ton to one boat. If someone doesn't use their slice it goes back in the pot to be divided again.

That is what we've represented to the highest levels of government repeatedly and has had some acknowledgement in the white paper.

This is in spite of the SFF insisting all repatriated resources are distributed through the current Fixed Quota Allocation (FQA) system which has facilitated consolidation.


We are adamant their needs to be a stronger economic link that British fishing vessels must comply with.

This is to realise what all policy should aim to deliver - that is maximum benifit from a national resource to communities. Whether through administration or sustainability.

We advocate 60% British ownership and 60% British crew - with a five year dispensation for 100% foreign in all waters. This is until new policy attracts British lads to a post Brexit industry on the up.

Most importantly, it must be stipulated that 60% of catches must be landed, sold and processed in the UK. This would revitalise ports, processors and their buying power.

Any foreign vessel granted access must also land here to deliver economic benifit from resources caught in our waters and ensure complaince.

This is to clamp down on flagships and stop them behaving like fishing tourists. Be a genuine British boat or pack your bags.


We have been the only fishing organisation to highlight slipper skippers. Michael Gove hadn't been informed of this blight that until FFL had meetings with him.

We are adamant that slipper skippers should be banned, that any boat to boat rent is capped at 3% of the gross realised on that quota.

This is to end the financial illiteracy of ever more money being thrown at quota.

It's curently bleeding 40-60% of profit from the fleet. It is stifling reinvestment and curtailing wages which would incentivise young men.

Any fishing entitlement should be under the same stipulations as in Norway and other Nordic countries. Entitlement must be held on an active vessel, if not within two years you must use it or lose it.


Quotas will never provide accurate science, as you only see caught what the quota is set to - not the natural predominance or fluctuations of stocks.

They will never conserve fish as we either discard to find what we can keep or stop the fleet on exhausting their lowest quota with choke species under the discard ban.

They mean we will always harvest out of balance with nature as we are imposing our own targets and trying to hit them.

Anyone advocating retention of quotas is seditiously trying to protect vested interests or doesn't have a clue about the practicalities of a mixed fishery such as ours.

They'll never work for fishermen due to the above because you either have to spend more time and money at sea discarding or choke and go bust.

As the system doesn't work its been a race to the bottom buying ever more Fixed Quota Allocation (FQA) unit entitlement to stagnate (FQAs = quota stocks and shares).

This drives consolidation to a few big corporates, killing coastal comminities and heritage that draws young men to an otherwise hard occupation.

All through nothing more than stupid policy where a select few hope they'll pockle the system to be the last men standing.

Those few MPs standing behind a federation that advocates this for an easy ride/sell should hang their head in shame.

Having a few big companies in a few big ports won't secure coastal communities and constituencies.


That's why FFL advocates a system of refined effort control with Flexible Catch Compositions ( FCCs). We're happy the government proposes trials but they must be meaningful not designed to fail. They must crack on asap and not listen to those trying to stop them.

If the system won't work there is nothing to lose or hide from trying it, but everything to gain if it succeeds.

Under such a system everyone is limited to an equal, sustainable amount of fishing 'soak' time monitored by sensors as hours gear is deployed.

Such a system automatically solves and delivers allowing everyone big or small, static gear or mobile, an equal opoortunity to reach their potential and make a living.

Soak time is derived from calculating how long it would take the whole fleet to catch all the resources in a sea area amalgamelated together.

This makes it's impossible to overfish an ecology as we do currently discarding over the limits to find what we can keep under quotas.

FQAs are converted to FCCs which give the sustainable mix of species you should aim to catch. This preserves the investment and entitlement in FQAs for the bigger holders.

Exceed those percentage and you can keep what you catch. This means you've caught less but can land more and provides accurate data.

However, to stop a race to fish for high value or vulnerable species, any 'wrong' fish incurs a penalty of time equivelant to the value of the fish.

The 'wrong' fish pays for the time but there's no benifit to target the wrong mix as it curtails your year.

As there's time for the crime science knows what it sees is an accurate reflection of stocks and we'll get the TAC mix into line.

As there's no quotas and everyone gets a slice of time to fish it means; No rent. No consolidation and a chance to have a profitable industry that gives young lads a chance to make a career from deck to wheelhouse.

Most importantly as accurate catch per hour per size/type of gear is recorded it delivers a highly accurate Catch per Unit of Effort (CPUE) system.

This is the holy grail of accurate science to deliver sustainable fishing which reflects and is in line with natures fluctuations.


That's what FFL advocates. Sadly too many are stuck in the rut and don't want to get out.

Either people chose that vision above or keep the same old system, as the SFF and NFFO advocate, and the managed decline to the last few it causes.

That's why FFL, and its founder especially, were demonized by a few in the industry post referendum by folk in thrawl to big interests.

Although if it hadn't been for founding FFL and driving it to the Thames flotilla and onwards fishing wouldn't be on the map, with the federations hiding behind neutrality.

Everyone see's the way it's going but are others brave enough to put their head above the parapet and say enough, change course.?