Thursday, 22 October 2020

Do you think Flagged fishing vessels should land 70% of their fish in the UK? Give the MMO your views online.

At present, UK flagged fishing vessels land and then overland almost all their fish back to their 'home' country. By and large, any landings they do make are token gestures just to meet the minimum requirements they are at present subject. These contribute a net loss to the UK economy amounting to hundreds of millions of pounds of fish annually. 


As outlined in the 2018 Fisheries White Paper ‘Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations’, leaving the EU gives the government the opportunity to reconsider the economic link licence condition. The condition applies to all UK registered vessels of 10 metres and over in length that fish against UK quota. It requires these vessels to demonstrate a link, or benefit, to the UK’s economy.

On 13 October 2020, the government launched a public consultation to seek views on a proposal to strengthen the economic link licence condition. We want to ensure that the owners of English registered vessels owners who fish against UK quota provide greater benefits to the UK, and to coastal communities in particular.

The proposal involves increasing the landing requirement to 70% for quota species and strengthening the quota donation requirement to increase the value of quota transferred to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). The proposal also allows vessel owners to use a combination of the two criteria, landings and quota donation, to meet the economic link requirement, recognising the importance of flexibility to support ongoing business practices. Under the proposal the crewing and financial expenditure criteria would be removed as these are considered to generate the lowest economic benefits. The purpose of this proposal is to increase the benefit to the UK from fish caught against England’s allocation of quota. This recognises that fish are a shared national resource, which should be for the benefit of all.

The economic link is a devolved matter, and the policy proposal in this consultation only applies to England.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, we intend to amend the economic link condition inc

We welcome your views on this policy proposal to strengthen the economic link conditions. We want to learn from your experience and to take your ideas on board. We need your help to get this right.

The consultation can be found on Defra’s website:

We welcome your views and comments on the proposals. If you wish to obtain a copy of this consultation, please contact