News story

Changes to fishing vessel licensing arrangements

On 26 March 2015 the government announced its response to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) consultation on “Simplifying fishing vessel licensing in England”.

A small red fishing boat returning to harbour

With effect from 1 June 2015 the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) will apply the following rules:

  • remove the expiry date of fishing vessel licences
  • remove the expiry date of entitlements
  • remove capacity penalties
  • remove the mismatch rule

No more minor mismatches will be permitted. Where financial commitments have been made prior to this notice the MMO will be looking at cases individually where evidence can be provided.

Other fisheries administration in the UK may adopt similar or different rules while licence entitlements will continue to be transferable between administrations. Where rules differ the rules of the administration receiving a licence entitlement will apply.

The changes yet to be implemented include moving to a single licence category for over 10 metre vessels. The following rules still apply in England which may vary from other Fisheries administrations:

  • no entitlements obtained from under 8 metre vessels can be used in aggregation to licence a 10 metre and under vessel
  • engine power limits licensed by aggregation for under 8 metre vessels will remain at 100kw and for 10 metre and under vessels at 150kw.

Single licence transfers over these limits will continue to be permitted, unless the entitlements to be used have been created through aggregation outside of English administration after 24 February 2015.

More information on fishing vessel licensing arrangements can be found on the MMO website.

Published 29 May 2015