Source: UK Government
On 29 May 2015 the requirements will change and all vessels in the Celtic Sea using stern trawls and seines of mesh size range 70 mm to 119 mm must insert a 120 mm SMP into the trawl. The rear edge of the panel must be no further than 9 metres from the codline.
There are permitted derogations:
vessels may use a derogated device or combination of gear and device which has been authorised by a fisheries administration where scientific evidence confirms that the configuration has the same or higher selectivity for cod, haddock and whiting; or
vessels fishing in the area east of 8° West of the Celtic Sea and whose catch comprises at least 55% whiting may use a SMP of at least 100mm if the codend mesh size is 100mm or greater (TR1)
A vessel is only permitted to use a derogated gear if it has been issued with an authorisation prior to going to sea. English registered UK vessels can apply for an authorisation by contacting the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) fishing vessel licensing team on 0191 376 2598 or email email@example.com.
For the purposes of the regulation the Celtic Sea is defined as ICES divisions VIIf, VIIg and the part of VIIj that lies north of latitude 50° N and east of 11° W.
Please contact your local MMO office if you have any queries.