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.

Single licence category for the over ten metre fleet segment in Scotland.

Marine Scotland have created a single licence category for the over ten metre fleet segment in Scotland.

Different licence categories will remain in existence in England after 30 June 2017. Category B or C licence entitlements transferring from Scotland will be received as a Category B or C as they were prior to 1 July 2017.

Scottish licences created through disaggregation or aggregation in Scotland after 30 June 2017 will be tracked back to the lowest common denominator and received accordingly on transfer to England. For example a licence aggregation between an ex-Category B and an ex-Category A licence in Scotland will be received in England as a Category B licence.

Application to change UK fisheries administration

This application to change UK fisheries administration (ODT, 40.1KB) form must be completed by the vessel owner(s) who wish to request the change of administration from England to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Latent capacity licence monitoring

In 2015 Defra carried out an exercise to address latent capacity in the English under 10m fleet. A number of licences had their finfish licence capped at 350kgs and/or had their shellfish permit temporarily suspended. This exercise included an appeals process. Some appeals were successful but subject to a monitoring period of 2 years.

This period drew to an end in most cases on 31 December 2017. Defra officials will be seeking to review this policy in 2018. In the interim all licences subject to monitoring will continue to be able to fish to the limits as set out in their current licence until further notice.

If you have any queries please contact the Defra Helpline on 0345 933 5577 or email fisheriesreform@defra.gsi.gov.uk.

Further information

More information on:

Published 11 June 2014
Last updated 29 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 01 July 2018
  2. Application to change UK fisheries administration form added
  3. Annexes updated
  4. Annexes updated
  5. Annexes updated
  6. PDF updated
  7. Annexe 1199 and 1299 updated
  8. Annexes updated
  9. Documents updated
  10. Annexes updated in line with variation published 20 April 2018
  11. Annexes added for variation effective 18 April 2018
  12. Documents updated
  13. Annexes updated
  14. Annexe 4599 and 9199 updated
  15. Documents updated
  16. Annexes updated
  17. licence variation for under 10 metre vessels
  18. Bass variation added
  19. Documents updated
  20. Documents updated
  21. Variations effective from 00:01 hours, Sunday 14 January 2018 added
  22. Latent capacity licence update
  23. 2018 annexes added
  24. Annexe 119 updated
  25. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 18 December 2017
  26. Annexes updated
  27. Annexes updated
  28. Annexes updated
  29. Documents updated
  30. Annexes updated in line with variation effective 19 November 2017
  31. Documents updated
  32. Documents updated
  33. Documents updated
  34. Annexes updated
  35. Variations effective from 00:01 hours, Monday 23 October 2017 added
  36. Documents updated
  37. 1199 and 1299 updated
  38. Annex 119 updated
  39. Documents updated
  40. Annexes updated
  41. 31sch updated
  42. Documents updated
  43. Annexes updated
  44. Documents updated
  45. Annexes updated
  46. Annexes updated
  47. Schedules updated
  48. Annexes updated
  49. Documents updated
  50. Annexe 1116 and 1117 updated
  51. Annexes updated
  52. Annexes updated
  53. Text added
  54. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 22 June 2017
  55. Annexes updated in line with variation effective 2 June 2017
  56. Annexes updated
  57. Annexes updated in line with variation of 25 May 2017
  58. Annexes updated in line with variation 18 May 2017
  59. Annexes updated in line with variation published 12 May 2017
  60. Annexes updated
  61. Annexe 117 updated
  62. Annexes 319, 199 updated
  63. changes to annexes in line with variation dated 01 May 2017
  64. Annexes updated
  65. Documents updated
  66. Changes in line with variation dated 6 April 2017
  67. Annexes updated
  68. Annexe updated
  69. 23sch updated
  70. Annexe 4599 and 9199 updated
  71. 4599 updated
  72. Annexes updated
  73. Documents updated
  74. 118 updated
  75. Annexes updated
  76. Annexes updated
  77. Documents updated
  78. Annexes updated
  79. 4599 and 9199 updated
  80. Annexe 4599 and 9199
  81. 2017 annexes updated
  82. Documents updated
  83. Updates in line with variation dated 12 December 2016
  84. Update to annexe 118 and 1120
  85. Annex updated in line with variation dated 6 December 2016
  86. Cornish FPO Pelagic Category A licence added
  87. Documents updated
  88. Annexes updated
  89. Annexes updated
  90. Documents updates
  91. Annexe 1110 updated
  92. Annexes updated
  93. Page updated
  94. Annexe 1119 updated
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  100. Annexes updated
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  104. Annexes updated
  105. Updated annexes in line with variation dated 09 September 2016
  106. Annexes updated
  107. Annexes updated
  108. Annexes updated
  109. Annexe 9199 updated
  110. Annexe 9199 updated
  111. Annexe 119 updated
  112. Annexes updated
  113. 11sch updated
  114. Variations effective from 00:01 hours, Thursday 11 August 2016 added
  115. PDFs updated
  116. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 29 July 2016
  117. Annexes updated
  118. Annexes updated
  119. Annexes updated
  120. Annexe 9199 updated
  121. Annexes updated
  122. Annexe 9199, 1199, 1299 updated
  123. Annexes updated
  124. Annexes updated
  125. Annexe 1199 and 1299 updated
  126. Documents updated
  127. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 24 June 2016
  128. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 22 June 2016
  129. Annex updated in line with variation dated 13 June 2016
  130. Annexes udpated
  131. Annexes updated
  132. Documents updated
  133. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 27 May 2016
  134. Annex's updated in line with variation dated 26 May 2016
  135. Annex updated in line with variation dated 20 May 2016
  136. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 19 May 2016
  137. Annex updated in line with variation dated Friday 13 May 2016
  138. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 11 May 2016
  139. Annexes updated
  140. Annexe 1116 updated
  141. Documents updated
  142. various updates in line with variation dated 22 April 2016
  143. Annexes updated
  144. changes in line with variation dated 11 April 2016
  145. Annexes updated
  146. update to Annexes in line with variation dated 31 March 2016
  147. Annexes updated
  148. changes to annexe in line with variation dated 24 March 2016
  149. Annexe 9199 updated
  150. Conditions updated
  151. Annexes updated
  152. Annexes updated
  153. annexes updated
  154. Annexes updated
  155. Annexe 9199 updated
  156. Annexes updated
  157. Annexe 3199 updated
  158. Annexes updated
  159. Annexes updated
  160. Various annexes removed
  161. Annexes updated
  162. Annexes updated
  163. Real time closure conditions updated
  164. Schedules updated
  165. Annexe 1119 changed
  166. 11, 12, 17, 31, 41 and transitional conditions PDFs changed
  167. 91 and 94 schedules updated
  168. Annexes updated
  169. Annexe updated
  170. Annexes updated
  171. Documents updated
  172. Annexe 119 updated
  173. Annexes updated
  174. Annexe 1125 and 1725 updated
  175. Annexe 1123 updated
  176. All documents updated
  177. changes to schedules in line with variation dated 21 December 2015
  178. Annexes updated
  179. Changes in line with variation dated 11 December 2015
  180. Documents updated
  181. Annexes updated
  182. Schedule 17 updated
  183. changes to annexes in line with variation dated 26 November 2015
  184. Schedule 17 updated
  185. Annexes updated
  186. Annexe 119 and 319 updated
  187. Documents updated
  188. Documents updated
  189. update to annexe in line with updated variation dated Friday 13 November
  190. changes to annexes in line with variation dated Friday 13 November 2015
  191. Documents updated
  192. change to annexe in line with variation dated Thursday 08 November 2015
  193. Annexes updated
  194. Annexes updated
  195. Annexes updated
  196. Annex 9199, 9499, 119 and 319 updated
  197. Schedules updated
  198. Annexe 913 updated
  199. South Western Fish Producers' Organisation (313) added
  200. Documents updated
  201. Documents updated
  202. Annexe 1199 updated
  203. Annexe 119, 1110, and 4110 updated
  204. Documents updated
  205. 18 documents updated
  206. Annexe 119 updated
  207. Changes made to annexes in line with variation dated 18 September 2015
  208. Changes to Annexe1117 in ine with varaition dated 18 September 2015
  209. changes to annexes in line with variation dated 16 September 2015
  210. PDFs updated
  211. 23con PDF updated
  212. Annexe updated
  213. Annexe 1110 updated
  214. Annexes updated
  215. Annexes updated
  216. Annexe 119 and 319 updated
  217. Annexes updated
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  219. Documents changed
  220. PDFs updated
  221. Annexe 118 updated
  222. Annexes updated
  223. Annexe 119 updated
  224. Documents updated
  225. Annexes updated
  226. Annexe updated
  227. Annexes updated
  228. Annexes updated to reflect Scottish real time closure
  229. Annexes SWFPO, FPO, SFPO, NIFPO, Aberdeen FPO, NESFPO, EEFPO, Fleetwood FPO, NSFO. West of Scotland FPO, NAFPO and the Isle of Man updated
  230. Annexes changed to reflect restrictions in bass fishing
  231. Over 10 metre vessels - Deep sea species schedule changed
  232. Documents updated
  233. Annex 119 added
  234. Conditions PDFs changed
  235. Annexe 9199 updated
  236. Annexe updated
  237. Annexes and conditions updated
  238. Annexe 112 updated
  239. Annexes updated according to variation dated 14 May 2015
  240. Annexe 119 and 319 updated
  241. Documents updated
  242. Documents updated
  243. Vessel licence changes effective from 00:01 hours, Friday 1 May 2015.
  244. Annex updated according to variation dated 24 April 2015
  245. Annexe 1199 updated
  246. Conditions 11, 12, 17, 31, 41 and transitional 11 condition
  247. Conditions 11, 12, 17, 31, 41 updated. Transitional 11 condition updated
  248. Annexe1110 updated
  249. Annexe 1110 updated
  250. PDFs updated
  251. Additional documents relating to variation dated 30 March 2015
  252. Annexes updated
  253. Annexe 1125 and 1725 added
  254. Annexe 9199 updated
  255. Conditions 11, 12, 17, 31 and 41 and Transitional 11.
  256. Annexe 9199 and 9499 updated
  257. Annexe 1125 and 1725 updated
  258. Annexe 9199 updated
  259. Annex 9199, 9499, 1199, 1299, 3199, 1110, 1119 updated
  260. Transitional Condition A (11) updated
  261. Updates to conditions and schedules for licences 11,12, 17, 31, 41
  262. Annexe 9199 updated
  263. Transitional 11con schedule updated
  264. Annexe 9199 updated
  265. Annexes updated as per variation dated 30 January 2015
  266. annex updated due to variation dated 22 January 2014
  267. Changes to annexes 1125 and 1725 in line with variation 18 January 2015
  268. Annexe 119 and Annexe 319 updated
  269. Changes to annexes 111, 171, 911
  270. Annexe 9499 updated
  271. updated to reflect licence variation effective 00.01 on Thursday 1 January 2015
  272. Changes to annex 119
  273. Changes to annexe 9199
  274. Changes to annexes in line with variation dated 14 December
  275. Changes to annexes in line with variation dated 5 December 2014
  276. updated a number of documents following licence variation (9199, 1199, 1299 and 3199).
  277. annexes updated to match variation
  278. Annexes updated to match variation
  279. Updated to match variation issued 31 October
  280. Updated to reflect variation
  281. Annexes changed to match vessel licence variation
  282. annexes updated to match licence variation
  283. Annexes updated as per variation effective 12 October
  284. annexes updated to match licence variation
  285. schedules updated to reflect variation dated 29 September 2014
  286. updated according to licence variation
  287. Updated a number of annexes to reflect licence variation effective 22 September
  288. Updated annex for licence 112
  289. updated a number of annexes
  290. Annexes updated as per variation
  291. annexes updated
  292. Annexes updated according to licence variation
  293. annexes updated according to licence variation dated 15 August 2014
  294. Licence annexes updated in association with licence variation issued 8 August 2014
  295. Annexes updated
  296. Licence annexes uploaded in line with variation
  297. Schedules updated
  298. First published.