Fishing boat licensing (FOI)
Fishing boat licensing (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 21 June 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Would the Government of Jersey (GOJ) as part of this response link to the relevant publicly available information that pertains to the new fishing licensing regime of 2021?
Please confirm which of the following fishing vessels (list below) have applied for new Jersey fishing licenses in 2021? Of those that have applied, which have been granted licenses as of 6 May 2021?
Please provide figures on total numbers and types of applications, and licenses granted up to 6 May 2021?
I'm predominantly talking about Marine Resources. However, I am also interested in any type of fishing license that has been issued that relates to the new fishing rules / regulations introduced this year. If some, or part of those licenses, are administered by other GOJ departments that are not Marine Resources, I would still be interested in figures for those licenses, even if not administered by Marine Resources.
I'm not interested in shore fishing license types (Ormers / Scallop diving and so on) in this request.
Would the GOJ also include, for each vessel listed below that has applied for a license, any terms or conditions specific to the licensing of that specific vessel, that are above and beyond that of which would apply to any other vessel desiring to fish in Jerseys water?
La Presqu Ile II
F/V Cap Pilar
F/V Le Pearl
F/V Santa Clara
F/V Monaco Du Nord 2
F/V Black Pearl 1
F/V Hermes 1
F\Charle Marie 2
E\V Le Saint Gaud
F\V Hermine Bastien
F\V Marie Catherine 2
F\V Boree AL
These 26 vessel names have been identified from publicly available open data on shipping as having been present around St. Aubins Bay area on the morning of the 6 May 2021. List may not be inclusive of all vessels present during the St. Helier fishing protests.
I believe there is a substantial public interest in this regard, as recent events have affected the island's relationship with France, as well as changes in the fishing regime is / will be affecting the health of our marine ecosystem. Certainly reports of seabed dredging or fishing in sensitive areas brought about by the relative chaos of the transition is a cause for concern.
Therefore, transparency that every fisherman is being treated fairly and equally under the terms of the new licensing regime is as important for the state of international relations, as well as knowing and being clearly aware of the volumes of vessels licensed for a given take / catch or fishing method.
Such information can then be cross-referenced with the other information marine resources very kindly publish on its trials, so members of the public can see how the new policy / licensing changes may be affecting the health of our marine ecosystem.
The conditions applied to French and Jersey commercial fishing licences, issued by the Marine Resources section, are detailed on www.gov.je. These can be accessed using the following link.
Fishing boat licensing
14 of the vessels you have listed applied for a 2021 Jersey fishing licence as at 06 May 2021. So far 9 of those vessels, which are listed below, have been granted a licence.
* Cap Lihou
Monaco Du Nord 2
The application process for the remaining five licences is still on going, as these vessels still have the opportunity to submit further evidence to qualify for a licence.
The UK Single Issuing Authority (SIA) website provides a list of all EU vessels that are licenced to access Jersey waters.
United Kingdom Single Issuing Authority (UKSIA) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The SIA website (above) shows the number of licences currently issued to EU vessels with access to Jersey waters. This number stood at 41 vessels as at 6 May 2021.
127 fishing licences have been issued to Jersey vessels in 2021.
The nine licences issued for vessels on your list fall into the following fishing categories:
scallops - seven
tangle net - one
whelks - one
The following conditions were granted to the qualifying vessels:
11-36 days for scallop fishing
a maximum of 720 pots can be issued to the whelk boat, in line with French conditions
Static gear is not managed in the same way, therefore does not have an allocated number of days.
At the time of responding further vessel specific conditions cannot be released since we are still in discussions to finalise the conditions to be applied to French fishing licences.
We have therefore applied Article 35 (Formation and development of policies) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011, to the release of any further data at this time.
This data will, in a grouped form, become available in the future once licencing conditions have been is settled.
At present the ‘days at sea’ condition has been lifted while further evidence is accepted.
Article 35 - Formulation and development of policies
Information is qualified exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of any proposed policy by a public authority.
Article 35 is a qualified exemption and a public interest test has therefore been applied. The following considerations were taken into account:
Public interest considerations favouring disclosure
disclosure of the information would support transparency and promote accountability to the general public regarding the proposed conditions
disclosure to the public fulfils an educative role about the proposed conditions
Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information
release of the information at this stage might generate misinformed debate in. This would affect the ability of officials to consider and develop the conditions away from external pressures, and to advise Ministers appropriately.
premature disclosure of this information may limit the willingness of parties to provide their honest views and feedback. This would hamper and harm the policy–making process not only in relation to this subject area but in respect of future policy development across wider Departmental business.
Following assessment, we have decided that, on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption at this time outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.