This proposed Order will regulate fishing for king scallops (Pecten Maximus) by UK fishing boats within those waters within British fishery limits which form the area known as the Scottish zone.
The part of the Order covered by the Technical Standards procedures is in relation to the length of the tow bar to which scallop dredges can be attached and which can either be carried on board a British fishing boat, or deployed or towed from a British fishing boat within the Scottish zone.
The draft Order seeks to amend existing management measures relating to the use of scallop dredges by UK fishing boats in three separate areas within the Scottish zone. The draft Order seeks to reinforce existing limits in the number of dredges that can be towed from either side of the boat – with different limits applying in Scottish inshore waters, the territorial sea of the United Kingdom adjacent to Scotland and the remainder of the Scottish zone.
The technical restrictions which are the subject of this notification would apply as part of exemptions to these dredge number limits. The exemptions, if relied on, would be subject to one of two alternative conditions being met. Under each condition, there would be specified requirements: including requirements that the total length of any tow bar deployed does not exceed 7.5 metres; that no more than 2 tow bars are deployed at any time; and that no more than 8 scallop dredges are towed from each of the port and starboard sides of the fishing boat at any time.
The draft Order also seeks to make provision requiring a fully functional remote electronic monitoring system to be installed in those UK fishing boats which tow scallop dredges in certain areas within the Scottish zone. This requirement would not apply to those boats which were subject to one of the exemptions.
The draft Order would also specify a new standard minimum conservation reference size in relation to the landings of king scallops into most of coastline of Scotland. This would increase the permitted minimum landing size of king scallops from 100 millimetres to 105 millimetres in this area of coastline. This provision would amount to a condition designed to limit catches by technical measures which go beyond the minimum conservation and management requirements laid down in EU legislation – which is permissible under Council Regulation (EC) No 850/98 for the conservation of the fishery resources through technical measures for the protection of juveniles of marine organisms, and also under Articles 19 and 20 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Common Fisheries Policy.