The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are seeking views on proposals to introduce Inshore Vessel Monitoring Systems (I-VMS) for all licensed British fishing boats under 12 metres in length, operating in English waters. This also covers English boats operating outside of English waters.
VMS has been used as a monitoring system for UK vessels of 12 metres and over since 2013. The system records the location, speed and heading of a vessel using GPRS technology. Introducing I-VMS for under 12 metre vessels will provide a more accurate picture on fishing location and activity, which will help inform future fisheries management and sustainability.
The data could also allow fishermen to market their produce as sustainably caught, providing consumers with greater awareness of where their fish has come from and helping them to make more informed decisions.
Fisheries Minister George Eustice said:
“Monitoring systems play a crucial role in developing a framework for fisheries management that is both profitable and sustainable – and that allows all sections of our fleet to thrive.
“I now encourage everyone with an interest to have their say by responding to the consultation.”
It is proposed that the initial cost and installation of the equipment will be met by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund in order to minimise cost to industry.
The six week consultation will close on 14 November 2018.
Interested parties are invited to share their views either online or by post to:
UK Fisheries Control and Enforcement Team
Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2nd Floor Foss House
1 – 2 Peasholme Green