Brexit and Northern Ireland: fisheries Contents


Common Fisheries Policy (CFP): a set of rules aimed at the sustainable management of the EU fisheries resources and its fleet. It has four main policy areas; fisheries management, international cooperation with non-EU states, trade policy and funding for fishing communities.

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): a zone of sea beyond, and directly adjacent to, a country’s territorial sea. It extends out to a maximum of 200 nautical miles from the baseline or, if constrained by an neighbouring state, to a median line.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Expert group: comprising representatives of the Member States who assist the Commission in the implementation of the Common Markets Organisation and in trade issues related to the fishery and aquaculture products.

Fish Producer Organisation (POs): a membership organisation made up of fishermen. There are currently 11 established POs in England, 10 POs in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland (the Anglo-North Irish Fish Producer Organisation ANIFPO and the Northern Ireland Fish Producer Organisation NIFPO), and 1 in Wales (24 in total in the UK). Each PO has a Board, Chief Executive and supporting officials. PO’s play a role in managing quotas and marketing the fisheries products of their members.

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES): an international organisation that provides marine research and advice to several governments and regional fisheries management organisations, including the EU.

Landing obligation: A policy mechanism intended to reduce the amount of fish discarded at sea because fishermen have exhausted their quota or captured fish which are too undersized to be marketable. The landing obligation, phased in between 2015–2019, requires all catches of commercial fish species subject to quota to be landed and counted against quota.

Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY): a measure which determines the largest average catch that can be removed from a fish stock population over time, under existing environmental conditions, without threatening future yields.

Nephrops: a shellfish species, Latin name Nephrops norvegicus, which is known colloquially under the following names: Norway lobster, Dublin Bay prawn, scampi or langoustine.

Relative stability: a principle, based on historical fishing patterns during the period 1973–1978, which sets the fixed amount of fishing opportunity available to each Member State in the EU. Although the TAC for a species may change annually due to evolving scientific advice, the percentage share Member State receives for each stock is fixed under relative stability.

Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF): an EU institution established in 1993 whose members are appointed by the Commission based on their scientific expertise.

The Fishery Advisory Councils: stakeholder led regional sea organisations composed of representatives from the relevant Member States’ fishing industries and other interest groups.

Total Allowable Catch: limits (expressed in tonnes or numbers) on the amount of fish which can be caught are set for most commercial fish stocks. The Commission prepares TAC proposals, based on scientific advice on the stock status from advisory bodies such as the International Council of the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). TACs are set annually for most stocks (every two years for deep-sea stocks) at the December Council of Fisheries Ministers.

Zonal attachment: a method of allocating quota which is based on an assessment of the extent to which a fish stock resides within a country’s EEZ.

Published: 15 September 2018