UK MMO issues updated VMS guidance for under-12m fishing vessels

Updated guidance to support fishers with under-12m vessels to get ready for the introduction of Inshore Vessel Monitoring Systems, was published earlier this month by the UK Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

MMO is urging fishers in the under-12m fleet to read the information and familiarise themselves with what they will need to do and when ahead of IVMS becoming a legal requirement later this year. Key updates include:

  • The availability of a £650 (US$886) grant towards the purchase and installation of a device
  • A revised timetable for installation of devices based on vessel size with the tranche for 11.99- to 10-metre vessels due to start in mid-February
  • A provisional timing of late 2022 for the legal requirement coming into force

Combined with data on catch volumes, scientific evidence of stock levels and a range of other significant data, I-VMS will also enable more efficient decisions on local and national measures and policies to support the fishing industry.

MMO has received applications from a number of potential device suppliers and approved four monitoring devices for the under-12m fleet. This is the outcome of a technical assessment of suppliers’ products and engagement with the owners and skippers of under-12m vessels.

The contract for a device is between fisher and supplier, so fishers will be free to choose the device that best meets their individual needs and have it installed in line with MMO’s timetable before they can claim the £650 grant. This will be paid out via a digital process currently being developed by MMO.

Based on indicative prices from suppliers, two of the devices approved by MMO will be covered in total. A full grant of £650 will be paid to fishers choosing any approved device that is above this limit.

The four approved devices can be used on all types of vessels in the under-12m fleet.

MMO has also been developing procedures to allow fishers to continue fishing if their device needs to be repaired or replaced. An update on the full process, together with fishers’ obligations, will be published by the end of February.

A consultation on I-VMS in 2018 and the UK Government response in 2019 stated that the initial cost of a device, which was approximately £1,266 (US$1,726) including installation, would be met by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. This was based on the average cost of three devices on the market at the time, which MMO said did not vary significantly.

MMO added that since the original consultation on I-VMS in 2018, the advances in technology have meant that the range of devices now on the market mean that some of those devices are significantly cheaper than those available in 2018. This means that it is possible to support fishers through grant funding and to provide much greater value for public money.


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