This study explores what the future of UK fisheries might look like if the basis for allocating the UK share of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) changed from that of ‘relative stability’ to 'zonal attachment'. This will be achieved through the completion of two tasks: the estimation of quota change under zonal attachment, and consideration of social and economic implications for fishing communities under alternative future scenarios.
The first task will estimate the potential UK share of the TAC for each quota species, and its allocation of national quota under the assumption of ZA. The simplest estimation of ZA will be used initially, which is based on the current distribution of catches by species and fishing zone. Factors that affect UK quota allocations under ZA, such as migrations, spawning areas and the effects of stock recovery, will also be evaluated for each of the quota-species.
The second task will initially describe the status quo of the UK fishing industry and its coastal fishing communities, in terms of social and economic indicators (quota allocation; fleet size and composition; employment; port size and number; value of landings). It will then explore a number of alternative futures under ZA, through scenario planning. This approach is used in the absence of reliable predictive models to identify key uncertainties and issues under alternative policy landscapes. An assessment of the social and economic impacts, describing the same indicators as previously examined, will subsequently be undertaken for each alternative future outlined. This will provide a comparative estimate of how things might change under various ZA scenarios in comparison to the status quo.