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Consultation on a Proposal to Amend the 'Economic Link' Licence Condition

Update and Next Steps

The Scottish Government consultation on proposals to amend the 'economic link' licence condition in sea fisheries licences closed at midnight on 31 October 2017. The consultation responses have been published on the Scottish Government consultation website which can be accessed here.

Analysis of the written responses to the consultation is under way and a report on the analysis will be published in due course.

Summary of Proposals

Current sea fisheries licences include a condition that requires vessels over 10 metres landing more than 2 tonnes of quota species annually to demonstrate a real economic link to the United Kingdom. The aim of this condition is to seek to ensure that the parts of the UK that are economically dependent on sea fisheries do in fact benefit from fish quotas available to the UK.

The condition provides licensees with a number of ways in which a real economic link to the United Kingdom may be established:

  • by making 50% of quota landings into the UK

  • by having 50% of crew normally resident in the UK, or

  • by incurring 50% of operating expenditure in the UK

Vessels that do not establish an economic link licence condition in these ways also have the option of coming to an agreement with their Licensing Administration to make quota gifts in lieu of meeting the other criteria for establishing a real economic link.

 The Scottish Government proposed the following amendments:

  • In future, the economic link licence condition for Scottish fishing vessels will relate to an economic link to Scotland

  • Landings into Scotland form the main basis of fulfilling the condition

  • By 2020 the landings target will be 55% of catches of quota species per calendar year