Managing shared stocks

Part of Fisheries Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 pm on 17 December 2018.

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“(1) Where shared stocks of common interest are also exploited by other coastal states, the Secretary of State must engage with those states with a view to ensuring that—

(a) shared stocks are managed in accordance with the UK’s international law obligations and in accordance with the objectives of this Act;

(b) fishing mortality is below levels which will restore or maintain those shared stocks above levels capable of producing the maximum sustainable yield; and

(c) the impacts of fishing on the marine environment are avoided or, where avoidance is not possible, demonstrably minimised.

(2) The Secretary of State must endeavour to establish bilateral or multilateral agreements with other coastal states for the joint management of shared stocks of common interest.

(3) Where no formal agreement is reached, the Secretary of State must make every effort to reach common arrangements with other coastal states for fishing of shared stocks of common interest.

(4) Where neither a formal agreement nor a common arrangement is reached, the Secretary of State must—

(a) take all necessary steps to ensure that fishing of shared stocks of common interest is carried out such that the relevant stocks are maintained above levels capable of producing the maximum sustainable yield; and

(b) provide and make publicly available an annual report to the appropriate legislature outlining the steps taken pursuant to subsection (a) above.

(5) In setting total allowable catches in the UK exclusive economic zone for shared stocks of common interest, the Secretary of State may not increase the total allowable catch for any particular shared stock for UK fishing vessels apart from in the circumstances provided for in subsections (6) and (7).

(6) Where a coastal state with which a shared stock is jointly managed has reduced the total allowable catch available within its territory and—

(a) the Secretary of State is confident that this new total allowable catch will be complied with and enforced; and

(b) the coastal state consents to the UK increasing its total allowable catch,

then the Secretary of State may increase the UK total allowable catch by an amount not exceeding the amount by which the other coastal state has decreased its total allowable catch.

(7) Where the best available scientific advice on a shared stock confirms that fishing mortality of that stock can be increased without reducing the stock below a level capable of producing the maximum sustainable yield, then the Secretary of State may increase the UK total allowable catch in proportion to the change in recommend fishing mortality and the UK’s agreed share of total allowable catch for that stock.”.—

The purpose of this amendment is to set clear sustainability criteria in relation to negotiations with other countries to ensure that a clear and robust process can be developed to prevent overfishing.