Latest News

Landing Obligation for Demersal Fisheries

The Landing Obligation was introduced into pelagic fisheries on 1 January 2015 and will be introduced into demersal fisheries from 1 January 2016.

The same general principle applies to demersal fisheries as to pelagic fisheries; no commercial fishing vessel can return any quota species to the sea once caught, all catches must be landed (subject to any exemptions of course).

The Landing Obligation shall apply to certain species as of 1 January 2016 and additional species shall be introduced during 2017 and 2018.  By 2019 all vessels will need to land all catches of all quota species, unless an exemption applies.

The types of fishing gear carried shall determine the species a vessel is obliged to land.  A list of vessels that are subject to the Landing Obligation shall be compiled in due course and made available to local fishery offices and Producer Organisations.

There are of course exemptions.  Non- quota species and prohibited species can be returned to the sea even though caught.  Fish already damaged by predators or disease or contaminated fish can also be returned to the sea.

Fish that would previously have been thought to be undersize and were therefore discarded now have to be landed and will be counted against quota unless an exemption applies.  Even though these undersize fish are landed, they may not be suitable for human consumption and can therefore not be sold.

Recent months have seen numerous discussions and comments as to how this shall work in practice and it is inevitable that this shall continue as fishermen learn to adapt.  A consultation by Marine Scotland in July 2015 has already addressed one such issue, how the Landing Obligation discard transfer quota should be allocated.  Marine Scotland offered three options:-

  1. The discard transfer would be allocated to Producer Organisations on a pre-defined basis;
  2. The discard transfer would be allocated to Producer Organisations when they had met certain conditions set by Marine Scotland; or
  3. The discard transfer would be retained nationally and allocated to individual vessels.

Although Option 1 was the most popular among those who responded to the consultation, Marine Scotland has opted for Option 2.  Marine Scotland have made it clear however that this is for 2016 only and shall be reviewed during the year. 

If you have any queries with regard to the Landing Obligation or how this may affect your fishing activity, please contact Kirstin Ejsmont or Graham Jones or call 01224 632 464.

Latest News
Residential Property Quarterly Reflections and Insights

The latest quarterly report from the ASPC gives a reassuring picture of local market activity, with the house price index remaining, mostly, in the positive. The change in quarterly price is +1.5%, while the annual change is -0.5%. Taken over five years, the index is marginally positive at +0.4%. While the figures are reassuring, it may well be that our local market is yet to feel the strain of the general economic background and only time will tell whether this will be reflected in the remainder of 2023. Buyers’ wariness over the short term may well affect property sales as they effectively “sit tight” to see what happens with interest rates. This may result in a sluggish Autumn/Winter market as moving plans are put on hold, but for the moment, there is still healthy demand for properties in desirable locations and in good condition. 

Read More
Mackinnons Partners Gear Up for Ride the North

On Saturday 26th of August, Mackinnons Partners Neil Torrance, Pamela Bursill and Gregor Sim will be tackling Ride the North together with friends and family to raise money for local children’s charity “Charlie House”.

Read More