DEPARTMENT FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
APPROVING COMMENCEMENT OF LAW DRAFTING OF LEGISLATION CONCERNING THE GRANVILLE BAY TREATY
Purpose of the Report
For the Minister to instruct that law drafting should commence on three new fisheries regulations.
The Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) and the Joint Management Committee (JMC) established under the terms of the Agreement relating to fishing in the Bay of Granville met on 18 and 19 September 2008 respectively. Both Committees approved the introduction of three new fisheries regulations in principle:
a) To restrict the number and size of scallop dredges that may be used by fishing boats in the Jersey Territorial Sea.
b) To introduce a licensing scheme for pelagic trawlers operating to the south east of Jersey.
c) To introduce a ban on the use of certain types of static fishing nets in an area to the south of Jersey during the closed season for spider crabs.
The Fisheries and Marine Resources Panel agreed the regulations on 5 November 2008.
Law drafting time had been allocated in 2008 for measures concerning the Bay of Granville.
- In March 2004 the JAC agreed to limit the number of scallop dredges that may be used by any vessel fishing in the Granville Bay Area. The intention of the limitation was to prevent larger vessels coming in to the Area, thereby reserving what is effectively an inshore fishery for the smaller, locally based vessels. Prior to 2004 there had been a number of the larger vessels fishing in the Area, but they had all moved away. The agreement was to restrict the number and size of dredges that could be used by a single vessel; 16 dredges of no greater entrance size than 0.8 metres or an aggregate entrance size of no greater than 12.8 metres.
The agreement was passed on to the JMC, who would normally recommend that each country adopt the measures in the form of regulations. In this instance, no such recommendation was passed on and the JMC at its most recent meeting recommended that the legislation now be progressed.
Since March 2004 the situation has remained unchanged and the proposals would not restrict any vessel currently operating in the Area. The proposal will however serve the purpose of preventing larger vessels from moving in to local waters.
Law drafting would be relatively simple and take the form of a minor amendment to existing regulations. Law drafting time exists in the 2008 programme.
- At specific times of the year, French boats towing special trawls target Bream stocks off the south east corner of the Island. This type of trawling is called “pelagic” and includes pair trawling, where one or more nets are towed between two or more trawlers.
This form of activity is very damaging to shellfish pots and for many years Jersey and French fishermen have struggled to put in place a meaningful code of practice to prevent such damage. In 2008 a code of practice existed, but some trawlers ignored it, causing significant damage to Jersey owned pots.
Both French and Jersey fishermen have now agreed that such behaviour is unacceptable and should be controlled. The JAC have recommended that in the most vulnerable area to the south east of the Island, such trawling should not be permitted unless under the authority of a licence. Conditions should be attached to the issue and use of such a licence. The JMC have endorsed this recommendation and whilst the detail of any conditions and the zone it applies to have yet to be agreed, law drafting can commence on the requirement for a licence.
The regulation will take the form of a relatively minor amendment to existing regulations and should not be complex. Law drafting time exists in the 2008 programme.
- Each year in the early autumn when the spider crabs change shell, there is a ban on the catching of newly moulted spider crabs. It has become apparent that during this closed season nets are being used or left in the sea in areas where they have a detrimental effect on the newly moulted spider crabs. In some cases nets may be left in place for the entire duration of the ban, allowing their owners to lift them with a catch of spider crabs for the first day of the open season.
French and Jersey fishermen have now agreed an area to the south of Jersey where they recommend that no nets of any sort should be set for the duration of the closed season. The JMC has endorsed this recommendation and as the area falls entirely within the Jersey territorial sea, it is necessary to introduce a new regulation.
It is anticipated that the regulation will be capable of being included as an addition to existing regulations and that it should not be complex.
- The concept of these regulations has been approved by the Fisheries and Marine Resources Panel on November 5 2008.
Manpower and Resource Implications
Items (a) and (c) would be accommodated within normal enforcement patrols.
Item (b) may result in the need for a small number of dedicated out of hours patrols, but would be met from within existing manpower and budgetary resources.
The Minister is requested to instruct the Senior Fisheries Inspector to commence the law drafting process.
Mike Smith – Fisheries
Chris Newton, Director of Environment Department
File ref: 6.14.1
Ministerial Decision Case Ref:MD-E-2008-0219
L:\Environment Department\15 Ministerial Decisions\02 2006\02 Reports & attachments\R Environ MD-PE-2006-0030 15.03.06 Authorisation to issue a fish farming licence.doc