The UK Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has launched a programme to identify tracking devices that meet its technical specifications for monitoring location, speed and heading of fishing vessels of under 12 metres in length.
Suppliers have been invited to submit their products and technologies for assessment so fishers will have a range of vessel monitoring system (VMS) devices to choose from before it becomes a legal requirement for them to carry a functioning monitoring unit onboard.
To support fishers in selecting a device that is suitable for their respective vessels, the MMO began a “type approval” process to bring as many suppliers into the marketplace as possible so that there will be a broad choice of products at a range of prices for fishers to choose from.
In the under-12m fishing fleet, specifications for vessels – for example, in terms of powering and housing the devices – are diverse so vessel owners are best placed, with the right support from suppliers, to decide which device and service package suits them.
Fishers will be able to start researching devices once assessments are complete and a list of approved products is published in November 2021. Once the approved list is published and the installation timetable is confirmed, fishers will be asked to organise installation of a device on their vessel in phases, based on vessel size, to make it easier for fishers, suppliers and engineers to plan and organise installing the devices.
The MMO will work with fishers to develop and publish detailed guidance that sets out the actions they need to take from November, alongside the approved list of devices and information from each supplier on the after-sales services they offer.
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