Consultation on a proposal to amend the economic link licence condition

Closed 31 Oct 2017

Opened 30 Aug 2017

Feedback updated 22 Sep 2022

We asked

We asked for views on amendments to Scottish economic link licence conditions.

You said

We received 154 responses to the consultation from a broad cross-section of stakeholders including fishers, environmental groups, industry representative groups and interested individuals. 

We did

A summary of the changes are:

  • landings into Scotland will form the main basis for compliance with the economic link licence condition and options for demonstrating compliance through crewing and/or operating expenditure will no longer be available;
  • the required rate to satisfy the landings target will increase from 50% to 55% for demersal and shellfish stocks covered by the provision. Arrangements for pelagic species will be phased in and increased to 55% over a three year period.
  • the landings target will cover the eight most important quota species, by landed value, into Scotland. These are – herring, mackerel, Nephrops, haddock, monkfish, cod, hake and whiting.
  • the option to gift quota in lieu of landings into Scotland will continue with the formula used to estimate a suitable quota gift amended to better reflect the GVA from fishing;
  • the minimum level for qualifying for economic link criteria will increase from landings of two tonnes to landings of 10 tonnes.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This paper sets out the Scottish Government’s proposal to amend the current economic link licence condition in fishing vessel licences. Sea fisheries licences include a condition that requires vessels over 10 metres landing more than 2 tonnes of quota species annually to demonstrate a real economic link to the United Kingdom.

The current economic link licence condition was put in place to ensure that a proportion of the economic value that results from catching fish quotas is retained in the parts of the UK that are economically dependent on sea fisheries and its connected industries.

The Scottish Government wishes to amend the licence condition to strengthen the benefits that flow from fish quotas and fishing activities by placing greater emphasis on landings into Scotland and is seeking views on the proposed amendments set out in this paper.

Download the consultation paper.

To read the consultation paper, please CLICK HERE

Once you have read the paper, please complete the questionnaire by following the link below.


  • Business, Industry and Innovation
  • Economy
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Farming and Rural
  • Marine and Fisheries