Our legal framework
Fishing in Europe is politically and environmentally a highly supervised activity.

A legal framework that complies with the Scapêche daily.

  • The total allowable catch- (TAC) is the catch limit set for the majority of the large commercial fish stocks. TACs are proposed by the European Commission, based on scientific advice on the state of the stocks concerned, before being adopted by the Council of Fisheries Ministers.
  • TACs are set once a year for most of the stocks and every two years for deep water species. They are often established in accordance with long term plans.
  • TACs are shared between EU countries under a system called "relative stability", which maintains the stability of national quotas in relation to each other, even if the overall quantity of fish that can be caught varies according to the productivity of the stocks. France delegates management of the quotas to the producers' organisations (P.O.).
  • Each producers' organisation decides on the most appropriate way of managing the quotas allocated to it :
- Management on an individual basis, by boat and/or by fleet. For example, in our producers' organisation (PMA), each fleet with licences is allocated a quota for each deep-sea species. When a fleet reaches its quota the Producers' Organisation may decide to stop it fishing in that zone while allowing other fleets (which have not reached their quota) to continue to operate.

- pooled management. In the case of monkfish for example member fleets have free access to the Producers' Organisation's quotas. When the PO's quota is reached all the fleets must stop operating in this fishery.

  • The fleets (fishing boat skippers) must declare their catches in log books..
  • The declarations are made to the Fisheries Authorities (Direction des Pêches Maritimes) which then declares the catches to the Commission in Brussels. In the Scapêche fleet, we monitor all our catches through copies of the log books, which means we can monitor our consumption in real time.

Extract from the log of the Jean-Claude Coulon II.

Scapêche's activity is inspected by:

  • The Producers' Organisation (P.O.),
  • The supervisory authority: The Fisheries Department (D.P.M.),
  • The inspection authority: Affaires Maritimes (AFFMAR).
  • Scapêche boats are inspected at sea by the Scottish coast guards (Scottish fishing zones), Irish coastguards (Irish fishing zones) and Affaires Maritimes (French fishing zones).

Our legal framework in detail

30,33 et 46m
Crab boat
Sardine boat
1 Fisheries IV, V, VI VII VII VII-VIII VII-VIII (territotial waters) French Southern and Antartic Lands
2 TAC / quotas Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes (individual quotas )
3 Fishing effort (quotas KW/j) Yes (Western waters, cod and deep-sea species) Yes (Western waters, cod and deep-sea species  Yes (Western waters) Yes (Western waters)) No  No
4 Limiting access to fisheries Special fishing permits (deep-sea species, cod)

Licences (monkfish)
Licences (monkfish)

Special fishing licences (deep-sea fish, cod)

Licences (monkfish)

Special fishing licences (cod, longfin tuna)

Large shellfish licence (similar to a special fishing licence) Licence (BZH, national: anchovy) Yes (fishing licence)
5 Technical measure-
Yes Yes Yes Yes (CRPM BZH = 1000 pots, etc.) No Yes (French Southern and Antarctic Lands
6 Closed zones Yes (coral)
6 / 12 miles UK / IRL
Yes (coral)
6 / 12 miles UK / IRL

Yes (coral)
6 / 12 miles UK / IRL
No No Yes (Kerguelen in February / March = bird protection)
7 Controlled areas (access, catch, etc.) Yes (Blue Ling box, Cod zone) No Yes (Kbio zone) No Yes (Iroise Marine Park) Yes (fishing ban at depths > 500m; boat rotation per sector, etc.))
8 Minimum sizes / grades Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
9 Designated ports (hake, deep-sea species, Kbio, anchovy, etc.) Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes (Le Port – Ile de la Réunion) with weight and grade inspection on landing by an expert sworn by the French Southern and Antarctic Lands
10 Landing notice Yes Yes Yes No 0 (anchovy, mackerel, horse mackerel) Yes
11 On-board observers 0 (GF) (1) No No No Non (1) Yes (observer / inspector)
12 Community loge Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No (French Southern and Antarctic Lands /National Museum of Natural History log book)
13 Satellite monitoring Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
14 Fishery entry / exit declarations Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

(1) Zones :  the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (CIEM) has specified numbered fishing zones fishing zones.

(2) TAC / quotas : The European total allowable catch (TAC), divided into fishing quotas per State, corresponds to a maximum annual landing size for a species in a specified geographical zone. Quotas can be administered collectively or individually.

  • 1. A, B, C, F : Almost all species are subject to quota. (the spotted dogfish or other species such as the red mullet, gurnard, squid or cuttlefish are not subject to quota but these represent small volumes)

  • 2. Esardine, a species mainly fished by the Tximistarri II and the Mirentxu I are not subject to quota, but the other blue fish species are (anchovy, maquereau, horse mackerel).

(3) Fishing effort : like the size of catch, the amount of effort exerted is subject to limitation; boat working time is thus counted and limited (counted in quotas of engine power per day at sea: kilowatt/time).

There are specified efforts for European Atlantic fisheries for each large zone (" effort zones ») for crab fishing (D), demersal species (A, B, C), deep-sea species (A), cod, sole and plaice (A / Cod Recovery Plan).

(4) Limited fishery access : this is organised in the form of national or regional licences, or special (community) fishing permits. Only named boats holding these permits may carry out fishing for the species or with the controlled technique on the permit.

  • 1. Special Fishing Permits: Deep-sea species (A), Cod (A, B, C), Bluefin tuna (C), Large shellfish(D)
  • 2. National licences: Monkfish (ICES 7) (B, C), Anchovy (E), Celtic Sea Cod (ICES 7 fg) (B, C), Longfin tuna(C)
  • 3. Regional licence (Brittany): purse seine (Tximistarri II and the Mirentxu I) (E).

(5) Technical
: these concern all the rules governing the use and characteristics of fishing gear for a given trade and geographical zone. For each mesh size, maximum rates of catch per species are specified. Regulatory specified mesh size (A , B, C), number and type of pots used (D), incidental catches by sardine boats in Brittany (E)…

(6) Closed Zones : in order to protect a vulnerable ecosystem or a particular species, one or more fishing techniques are forbidden in certain geographical areas. These closures are put in place by the European Union or by the States (on the basis of Natura 2000). See PMA map below.

Protection zones for deep coral and other vulnerable submarine ecosystems.
Protection zone for haddock (Rockall in the west of Ireland), and cod (Windstock in the north of Scotland).

(7) Controlled zones : in order to protect one or more fish species, zones have restricted and controlled access all year round or at certain times. See PMA map.

  • 1. ( A )Blue ling protection zone restricting the volumes caught per voyage in the zone during the breeding season.
  • 2. ( A , B, C ) cod, sole and plaice protection zone, authorising access only to boats holding special fishing permits for cod. (See map)
  • 3. ( A , B, C ) The territorial waters of the European States, which extend up to 12 miles from the coast, are reserved for nationals, but some exceptions permit French boats to fish up to 6 miles into the waters of the United Kingdom and Ireland for a restricted list of species. (See map)
  • 4. (E) The Iroise marine park implements an access regulation system to Douarnenez for sardine boats purse seiners.

(8) Minimum sizes / grades : the vast majority of species caught are subject to minimum sizes and grades defined at European and/or French level. The grades are shown in the file of Species mainly fished by Scapêche.

(9) Designated ports : to enable catches to be effectively inspected (weight, sizes, declarations, etc,) there is a limited list of ports for landing more than a certain quantity of a species.

  • 1. ( A ) : deep-sea species, hake, cod.
  • 2. (B) :
  • 3. ( C ) : tuna.
  • 4. (E) : anchovy, mackerel, horse mackerel

(10) Landing notice : in order for catches to be effectively inspected on landing (weight, sizes, declarations, etc.), boats must indicate to the inspection authorities several hours before their arrival, the volumes held on-board as well as their expected time of arrival. This is mandatory in foreign ports, but also for landing species for which designated ports are listed. ( A , B, C , E)

(11) On-board observers : in order to gain a better understanding of fishing resources and the marine environment, and to check compliance with regulations, where necessary, it is mandatory to allow observers on-board. This is the case for fisheries of deep-sea species and the Patagonian toothfish. ( A , F)

(12) Community logbook (A, B, C, D, E, F) : each skipper is required to make a daily record in the log book of the volumes of products loaded by live weight. (see the log extract above). These volumes are liable to inspection at any time during the voyage. At the end of the voyage the documents (logbook + landing declaration) must be remitted to the inspection authorities. The declaration is currently a paper document, but it should change to an electronic declaration, transmitted daily, which will therefore improve the data capture inspection and registration capacities.

(13) Vessel Monitoring Systemx ( A , B, C , D, E, F) : All fishing boats over 15m (all Scapêche boats are affected) must be fitted with an operational satellite location system. The signal is emitted randomly, generally twice an hour, to enable the authorities (France and Coastal country) to check the position, course and speed of the boat (see VMS image file). This tool makes it possible to implement closed or controlled zones, monitor fishing efforts and to map the fishing zones as appropriate. The Scapêche fleet uses this system to monitor its boats in real time.

(14) Zone entry and exit declarationss : in each fishing effort zone or controled zone, the entry or exit of any boat, whether carrying out fishing or not or en route to its fishing zones or returning to port, must be recorded in the community logbook, and if necessary, be the subject of a specific message to the inspection authorities. (A, B, C , D, F)