How much does membership cost?
The PO currently (December 2018) has c.250 fishermen in membership, who between them have about 280 fishing boats. The PO’s membership stretches across ports from Shetland, down to the Lizard in Cornwall and across to Hastings.
Each prospective fish producer member applies for a single £1 voting share in the PO, so a voting membership costs £1 – just as if you wanted to join your local Co-op shop.
Once you are accepted as a £1 voting share member, you only pay more if you choose to buy stuff (services) from the PO – also just like being a member of your local co-op shop.
What difference will Coastal PO membership make to a non-sector boat?
- Members get a vote in what the PO does and how the PO does it.
- Members will be able to buy additional services from the PO if they want to (only members can buy services from the PO).
What difference will non-membership make to non-sector boats if the Coastal PO is ever granted sectoral quota management rights for the non-sector pools?
- None in so much as non-sector boats would still get exactly the same monthly allocations as boats in membership of the PO, however…
- The pool would be managed by the PO’s elected board of fishermen members rather than by well intentioned (but not fishermen) civil servants, which should be a good thing, but…
- If you’re not a member you won’t get a vote in how the PO manages the pool, and
- If you’re not a member you won’t be able to buy any services, such as cross booking between boats, retrospectively leasing quota and any other services that the PO’s members may ask the PO to develop and supply.
What services will I be able to buy?
The PO will be able to manage your fishing instead of the MMO (etc.)
UK Fisheries Administrations (Defra, MMO, Marine Scotland, Welsh Assembly Government, and Northern Ireland’s DAERA) can grant POs responsibility for sectoral quota management.
This means that recognised POs (and boats in recognised POs) can hold, swap, cross book (between boats in the PO), retrospectively lease and trade in any other legal way fishing quotas.
Two things to say beforehand…
- IT’S VOLUNTARY. You don’t have to buy the service if you don’t want to. If you try it and don’t like it, you can tell us by email one month, and you’ll go back to normal the next month.
- The PO can’t do it yet (we’re still negotiating the rights to do so with the MMO), but when we can:
- We won’t be charging you a commission on your quota species landed (because you don’t own any quota) like the other POs do (for their private quota holding members)
- We plan to manage your monthly allocations (currently done by the MMO) so that PO members opting in and paying can cross book / retrospectively lease from their boats’ monthly allocations with the monthly allocations of other paying members of the PO’s boats.
So… how much?
- Members voted through a £150 (plus VAT) annual fee
- That will be a £150 (plus VAT) fee per boat to access the service, plus…
- Members may decide (we haven’t worked it out yet, but it will be up to the members) that there may be a fee for boat A cross booking some of its monthly allocation to cover some of the landings of boat B.
Also – there will be penalties for overfishing
- POs get additional quota management rights in return for taking on some of the responsibility of managing their members fishing activity. The downside is that where a member breaches the fishing rules (e.g. wilfully overfishes his monthly allocation) it’s the PO’s job to penalise him.
- The PO’s members voted to do this by adopting and adapting a rule from the East of England PO’s Rules.
- If a member over fishes (and there is not the capacity or the member is not willing to pay the charges associated with leasing additional quota or allocation to cover his over fish) the PO has the right to fine the member up to the value of his landed overfish.
- This removes any financial incentive for members to over fish, without financially crippling the member.