Fish stocks: allocation of additional quota

Closed 11 Jan 2024

Opened 19 Oct 2023


Scotland’s sea fish quotas are a national asset, and this consultation seeks your views on how the Scottish Government should allocate a portion of this national asset – what is termed Additional Quota (“AQ”).

Scotland has AQ following the implementation of the Trade & Co-Operation agreement (TCA) between the UK and the EU after the UK left the EU on 1 January 2021.

The Scottish Government’s Future of Fisheries Management (FFM) body of work, sets out an intention to allocate AQ differently from what is recognised as Existing Quota (Scotland’s share of quota in the period prior to the UK leaving the EU).

Following a consultation issued in December 2020, the Scottish Government issued an outcome report in March 2021 setting out how Scotland would allocate its share of Additional Quota in 2021. This methodology has continued to be applied for 2022 and 2023.

On 14 April 2023, the UK Government published the outcome of a consultation which fixed the apportionment of AQ to the fisheries administrations for the remainder of the current TCA (until end 2026).

This consultation seeks views on how the resulting fishing opportunities should be allocated by the Scottish Government.

Important points to note in relation to the allocation of AQ

Please note the following in relation to the allocation of AQ:

  • AQ allocated as a result of this consultation may be allocated via a number of ways. As has been the case in the period 2021-2023, where, in the main, quota was allocated based on the Historic Track Record of vessels and some Special Allocations to the non-sector.
  • the proportion of quota allocated via the different mechanisms may vary from year-to-year.
  • some methodologies for the distribution of AQ arising from this consultation and subsequent work may not commence until after 2024.
  • gains from transfers of quota to the UK from other Coastal States which arise from negotiations may be allocated differently to the AQ gained as a result of the change in the UK share of quotas arising from the TCA (see Section 2.5 for a definition).
  • the outcome of this consultation will be reviewed and potentially changed following the conclusion of the current TCA agreement period with the EU (2026).
  • we anticipate that our approach to the allocation of any AQ will change in future years, this is due to a number of factors such as the development and implementation of our Future Catching Policy. Therefore, the distribution methodology for AQ may be reviewed and amended before 2026.
  • related to the allocation of sea fish quotas is the operation of sectoral and non-sector groups in Scotland. The Scottish Government will be reviewing these groups as part of the Future Fisheries Strategy.

Read the consultation paper for more information, including:

  • Background on quota distribution
  • The fixed quota allocation (FQA) system
  • Historic allocation of fishing opportunities outside the FQA system  - quota management powers
  • Allocating additional quota differently (2021 to date)
  • Maintaining the FQA system for scottish existing quota (eq)
  • Additional quota
  • Scottish additional quota
  • Guiding principles & statutory obligations
  • Review of 2021-23
  • Allocating to the non-sector

Why your views matter

This consultation sets out a number of options for the distribution of Additional Quota. This is an evolving area and your opinion and perspective will help to help shape allocations in furtherance of the Scottish Ministers' responsibilities. 

What happens next

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.


  • Marine and Fisheries
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