Commercial fishing and fisheries – guidance

Understand your fishing vessel licence

How to understand each part of your fishing vessel licence – vessel details, conditions, schedule, annex and their current copies.

Understanding your vessel licence

Your fishing vessel licence is in several parts. You must read each part carefully to make sure you understand the terms attached to it and that they are correct for your fishing activity.

Contact your local Marine Management Organisation (MMO) office with any questions and notify them immediately if any of the details are incorrect.

An incorrect licence is invalid and you could be liable to penalties.

It is your responsibility to check your licence documents before going to sea as licences can be changed at any time. MMO publishes variations online and notifies those who have provided their contact information.

You can provide MMO with up to 2 emails, mobile phone numbers, or both, as a way of getting direct alerts about changes. You can receive notifications yourself, but it may make sense to nominate someone based onshore who can contact you on your vessel quickly.

Variations are considered to have been received when they are published online. You are required, as part of your licence conditions, to check each week for any changes.

Part 1: Vessel details

This part includes:

  • category of licence
  • official licence number
  • characteristics of your vessel
  • registered owners
  • specific authorities for scallop dredging, beam trawl fishing, fish for shellfish with pots, fixed nets or both
  • membership of a fish producer organisation

Part 2: Conditions

This specifies how your vessel will fish. You may be directed to make landings at certain ports and times.

Part 3: Schedule

This sets out the authority under which you are allowed to fish.

Part 4: Annex

This lists species that you are not permitted to fish and any catch limits for stocks that you are able to fish and land.

Fishing vessel licences: 10 metre and under vessels - non-sector

These are vessels 10-metres-and-under that don’t belong to a producer organisation.

Uncapped licences for the non-sector and Isle of Man have the same conditions and schedules, and their own specific annexes.

Capped licences for the non-sector have the same conditions, schedule and annex.

Fishing vessel licences: 10 metre and under vessels - sector

All vessels that are members of a producer organisation have the same conditions and schedule.

They each have their own specific annexes.

Fishing vessel licences: over 10 metre vessels - Category A

All Category A vessels have the same conditions and schedule.

There are specific annexes for vessels in the non-sector, Isle of Man, and each producer organisation.

Fishing vessel licences: over 10 metre vessels - Category A (Islands)

There are no producer organisation vessels that are Category A (Islands) vessels. All Category A (Islands) vessels are in the non-sector and have the same conditions, schedule and annex.

Fishing vessel licences: over 10 metre vessels - Category A (Pelagic)

All Category A vessels have the same conditions and schedule.

There are specific annexes for vessels in each producer organisation. There are no Category A (Pelagic) non-sector vessels.

Fishing vessel licences: over 10 metre vessels - Category B

All Category B vessels have the same conditions and schedule.

There are specific annexes for vessels in the non-sector, Isle of Man, and each producer organisation.

Fishing vessel licences: over 10 metre vessels - Category C

All Category C vessels have the same conditions and schedule.

There are specific annexes for vessels in the non-sector, Isle of Man, and each producer organisation.

Fishing vessel licences: over 10 metre vessels - Deep sea species

All deep sea species vessels have the same conditions and schedule.

There are specific annexes for vessels in the non-sector and each producer organisation.

Fishing vessel licences: over 10 metre vessels - Handline mackerel

There are no producer organisation vessels with handline mackerel conditions and schedules. There is no annex.

Fishing vessel licences: over 10 metre vessels - Thames and Blackwater

There are no producer organisation vessels with these conditions and schedules. There is no annex.

Further information

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