ARCHIVE: Quota management: Economic link licence condition
From 1 January 1999 British registered fishing vessels over 10 metres in overall length and landing 2 tonnes or more of quota stocks have had to demonstrate an economic link with fishing communities in the UK.
The economic link is operated through a licence condition. It was introduced to ensure that British coastal communities dependent on fisheries and related industries gained economic benefit from vessels fishing against UK quotas. Its introduction was the subject of extensive consultation with the Commission, which confirmed in July 1998 that, in its view, the condition was compatible with Community law.
A vessel owner may demonstrate that his vessel has maintained an economic link with the UK by one of four options:
landing at least 50% by weight of the vessel's catch of quota stocks into the UK, or
employing a crew of whom at least 50% are normally resident in a UK coastal area, or
incurring a significant level of operating expenditure in the UK for goods and services provided in UK coastal areas, or
demonstrating an economic link by other means (including combinations of the above) providing sufficient benefit to populations dependent on fisheries and related industries.
Vessel owners may also roll over part of their economic link compliance to the following year.
Vessel owners have until 31 July each year to provide evidence of compliance in the previous year. Owners failing to provide that evidence are liable to the withdrawal of their authority to fish for quota stocks and/or prosecution for breach of the licence condition. Reports are published by Fisheries Administrations into the fishing industry's compliance with the economic link licence condition each year.
Reports on the operation of the economic link licence condition
- The operation of the economic link licence condition in 2005 (PDF 70 KB)
- The operation of the economic link licence condition in 2004 (PDF 251 KB)
- Statistics on quota uptake (link to MMO website)
Page last modified: 14 December 2007
Page published: 14 December 2007