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