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Commercial Fishing



ICES total allowable catch advice for 2022: Statement from Scottish Fishermen’s Federation. Responding to the latest ICES advice on catch opportunities for 2022, SFF chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said:

“We are dismayed with the advice for a swingeing 10% cut in the North Sea cod total allowable catch (TAC).

“This simply fails to reflect the volumes of cod that fishermen are seeing on the grounds, and on the back of huge cuts in the previous two years, is desperate news for the industry.

“No account is being taken of the distribution of different cod stocks within the North Sea and adjacent areas and ICES needs to alter its modelling to take account of such spatial considerations. We are aware that the process is moving towards the inclusion of such considerations but progress is too slow, with the interim modelling not being good enough to ensure a fair transition.

“When you add in the fact that there is advice large increases in TACs for other species, namely North Sea haddock and whiting, and serious quota constraints due to the appalling Brexit deal, sound management of these fisheries becomes almost impossible to achieve.

“Within a mixed fishery, as soon as you have low quotas for cod, you restrict the opportunities for fishermen catching these other key species.”

She added:

“One sign of hope is on West of Scotland whiting, which industry has been telling scientists for years has been plentiful, to no avail. After assisting in the process that ICES followed to change the model for that stock, we now have advice for whiting that a bit more closely reflects what skippers are seeing on the grounds.”

Photo credit: SFF