Meaning of “chargeable person” and “unauthorised catch of sea fish”

Part of Fisheries Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 17 December 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 4:30, 17 December 2018

To reassure my hon. Friend the Member for Waveney, we have not included IFCAs in the clause in the way that his amendments suggest, in common with similar amendments that he has tabled, because IFCAs do not have any role in quota management. It is not appropriate for them to be covered by this clause, which is explicitly in relation to the discard prevention charge.

IFCAs do not carry out the functions for which we want the MMO to charge. In essence, the funding mechanisms for IFCAs are also different from the MMO. IFCAs are funded by a levy charged to their sponsoring local authorities. They receive around £8.7 million for that. Local authorities have a legal duty to pay the levy. Recovered courts costs awarded from successful prosecutions also appear as revenues. IFCAs are encouraged to explore ways of supplementing their income by creating commercial revenues—through survey work, for example. Their funding model is very different. They have no role in quota management and it is not appropriate to bring them within the scope of these clauses.

IFCAs are already able to charge for permits under their bylaw-making powers in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. That means that where, for instance, they issue a permit to allow people to catch cockles, they are able to charge to cover the cost of issuing that permit. There are other provisions in other pieces of legislation that give them some charging powers that are appropriate, but it would not be appropriate to give them a role in an area that is entirely managed by the MMO.