EU juvenile real time closures
In September 2009 the European Community and Norway agreed to implement a real time closure (RTC) scheme in the North Sea and Skagerrak for the protection of juvenile cod, haddock, whiting and saithe. The scheme is independent of our current real time closure scheme in place for cod. In August 2010, detailed rules for the implementation of real time closures were put into practice by Commission Regulation (EU) No 724/2010 (PDF 754 KB) and subsequently amended, in August 2011, by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 783/2011 (PDF 697 KB).
All closures instigated by this scheme must be adhered to by all EU member state vessels.
Read the real time closures flowchart (PDF 23 KB) to see explanations of each of the four types of real time closure including:
- trigger levels
- sample sizes
- duration of closure
- size of closure.
The details of the scheme are as follows:
- Closures shall only be determined by live sampling at sea by an authorised inspector.
- Where it is estimated that 200 kg of any mixture of cod, haddock, whiting and saithe are present in the haul, a sample shall be taken.
- A representative sample (start, middle and end of haul) of at least 200 kg shall be weighed and measured.
- Fish below the following sizes shall be regarded as juveniles:
- cod 35 cm
- haddock 30 cm
- whiting 27 cm
- saithe 35 cm.
- Juvenile closure trigger levels
If 10 per cent of the sample (by weight) are juveniles, then a closure trigger is activated. Or if the total quantity of cod in the sample exceeds 75 per cent, then the trigger level shall be 7.5 per cent juveniles (by weight).
- The closed area shall be 50 square nautical miles and closed to fishing for 21 days. The area will automatically reopen at midnight (UTC) when the period has expired.
- Under the EU juvenile real time closures scheme there is no limit to the number of closures at any one time within the North Sea.
Permitted gears within EU juvenile real time closures
- Pelagic trawls
- Purse seines
- Drift nets
- Jiggers targeting herring, mackerel, horse mackerel
- Scallop dredges
- Gill nets