Under the EU quota system, there is a limited ability to bank up to 10 per cent of any unused quotas for certain stocks over from one year to the next.
The MMO negotiated with other industry groups to obtain donations of quota for the 10 metre and under fleet. This means that for key stocks such as sole, cod, haddock and pollack the MMO has been able to bank forward from 2012 into 2013 the full amounts possible, making extra quota available in 2013 for fishermen.
The MMO’s Head of Fisheries Management, Martyn Youell, said: “Our quota managers work hard to ensure fisheries stay open as long as possible during the year.
“This extra quota will help towards ensuring fisheries can stay open for the whole year as well as helping allow higher catch limits in some cases. By securing quota from English Producer Organisations we are delighted to be able to offer such large-scale benefits for the fleet, and will continue to look for similar agreements in the future.
“We would also like to thank the producer organisations who released this extra quota for the U10m and non sector fleets.”
Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon, said: “Helping the under 10m fleet has been a priority for me and I am delighted that they are beginning to reap the benefits of the changes we have introduced.
“It would be a travesty if we were to allow smaller fishing boats to go out of business and I will continue to do everything I can to help them.”
The MMO is continually working to improve day-to-day management with accurate catch limits and forecasts that secure longer fisheries whilst ensuring the welfare of the fish stocks. It welcome the contribution of industry to this process and are working to increase their input.
In the long term, MMO is supporting the work of its colleagues in Defra to look at the reform of inshore fleet management through the Sustainable Access to Inshore Fisheries project.