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 8 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. Annexes updated
  2. Annexes updated
  3. 9199 and 4599 updated
  4. Annexes updated
  5. Annexes updated
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  8. Annexes updated in line with variation published 20 September 2018
  9. Documents updated
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  11. Documents updated
  12. Annexes updated
  13. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 25 August 2018
  14. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 16 August 2018
  15. Annexes updated
  16. Annexes updated
  17. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 01 July 2018
  18. Application to change UK fisheries administration form added
  19. Annexes updated
  20. Annexes updated
  21. Annexes updated
  22. PDF updated
  23. Annexe 1199 and 1299 updated
  24. Annexes updated
  25. Documents updated
  26. Annexes updated in line with variation published 20 April 2018
  27. Annexes added for variation effective 18 April 2018
  28. Documents updated
  29. Annexes updated
  30. Annexe 4599 and 9199 updated
  31. Documents updated
  32. Annexes updated
  33. licence variation for under 10 metre vessels
  34. Bass variation added
  35. Documents updated
  36. Documents updated
  37. Variations effective from 00:01 hours, Sunday 14 January 2018 added
  38. Latent capacity licence update
  39. 2018 annexes added
  40. Annexe 119 updated
  41. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 18 December 2017
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  45. Documents updated
  46. Annexes updated in line with variation effective 19 November 2017
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  51. Variations effective from 00:01 hours, Monday 23 October 2017 added
  52. Documents updated
  53. 1199 and 1299 updated
  54. Annex 119 updated
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  70. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 22 June 2017
  71. Annexes updated in line with variation effective 2 June 2017
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  74. Annexes updated in line with variation 18 May 2017
  75. Annexes updated in line with variation published 12 May 2017
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  78. Annexes 319, 199 updated
  79. changes to annexes in line with variation dated 01 May 2017
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  96. Annexe 4599 and 9199
  97. 2017 annexes updated
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  99. Updates in line with variation dated 12 December 2016
  100. Update to annexe 118 and 1120
  101. Annex updated in line with variation dated 6 December 2016
  102. Cornish FPO Pelagic Category A licence added
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  130. Variations effective from 00:01 hours, Thursday 11 August 2016 added
  131. PDFs updated
  132. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 29 July 2016
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  149. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 27 May 2016
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  151. Annex updated in line with variation dated 20 May 2016
  152. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 19 May 2016
  153. Annex updated in line with variation dated Friday 13 May 2016
  154. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 11 May 2016
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  158. various updates in line with variation dated 22 April 2016
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  162. update to Annexes in line with variation dated 31 March 2016
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  166. Conditions updated
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  180. Schedules updated
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  193. changes to schedules in line with variation dated 21 December 2015
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  199. changes to annexes in line with variation dated 26 November 2015
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  202. Annexe 119 and 319 updated
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  205. update to annexe in line with updated variation dated Friday 13 November
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  208. change to annexe in line with variation dated Thursday 08 November 2015
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  212. Annex 9199, 9499, 119 and 319 updated
  213. Schedules updated
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  244. Annexes updated to reflect Scottish real time closure
  245. Annexes SWFPO, FPO, SFPO, NIFPO, Aberdeen FPO, NESFPO, EEFPO, Fleetwood FPO, NSFO. West of Scotland FPO, NAFPO and the Isle of Man updated
  246. Annexes changed to reflect restrictions in bass fishing
  247. Over 10 metre vessels - Deep sea species schedule changed
  248. Documents updated
  249. Annex 119 added
  250. Conditions PDFs changed
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  255. Annexes updated according to variation dated 14 May 2015
  256. Annexe 119 and 319 updated
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  259. Vessel licence changes effective from 00:01 hours, Friday 1 May 2015.
  260. Annex updated according to variation dated 24 April 2015
  261. Annexe 1199 updated
  262. Conditions 11, 12, 17, 31, 41 and transitional 11 condition
  263. Conditions 11, 12, 17, 31, 41 updated. Transitional 11 condition updated
  264. Annexe1110 updated
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  266. PDFs updated
  267. Additional documents relating to variation dated 30 March 2015
  268. Annexes updated
  269. Annexe 1125 and 1725 added
  270. Annexe 9199 updated
  271. Conditions 11, 12, 17, 31 and 41 and Transitional 11.
  272. Annexe 9199 and 9499 updated
  273. Annexe 1125 and 1725 updated
  274. Annexe 9199 updated
  275. Annex 9199, 9499, 1199, 1299, 3199, 1110, 1119 updated
  276. Transitional Condition A (11) updated
  277. Updates to conditions and schedules for licences 11,12, 17, 31, 41
  278. Annexe 9199 updated
  279. Transitional 11con schedule updated
  280. Annexe 9199 updated
  281. Annexes updated as per variation dated 30 January 2015
  282. annex updated due to variation dated 22 January 2014
  283. Changes to annexes 1125 and 1725 in line with variation 18 January 2015
  284. Annexe 119 and Annexe 319 updated
  285. Changes to annexes 111, 171, 911
  286. Annexe 9499 updated
  287. updated to reflect licence variation effective 00.01 on Thursday 1 January 2015
  288. Changes to annex 119
  289. Changes to annexe 9199
  290. Changes to annexes in line with variation dated 14 December
  291. Changes to annexes in line with variation dated 5 December 2014
  292. updated a number of documents following licence variation (9199, 1199, 1299 and 3199).
  293. annexes updated to match variation
  294. Annexes updated to match variation
  295. Updated to match variation issued 31 October
  296. Updated to reflect variation
  297. Annexes changed to match vessel licence variation
  298. annexes updated to match licence variation
  299. Annexes updated as per variation effective 12 October
  300. annexes updated to match licence variation
  301. schedules updated to reflect variation dated 29 September 2014
  302. updated according to licence variation
  303. Updated a number of annexes to reflect licence variation effective 22 September
  304. Updated annex for licence 112
  305. updated a number of annexes
  306. Annexes updated as per variation
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  308. Annexes updated according to licence variation
  309. annexes updated according to licence variation dated 15 August 2014
  310. Licence annexes updated in association with licence variation issued 8 August 2014
  311. Annexes updated
  312. Licence annexes uploaded in line with variation
  313. Schedules updated
  314. First published.