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.

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