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 22 March 2019 + show all updates
  1. Changes to annexes in line with variation dated 23 March 2019.
  2. Attachments updated
  3. Documents updated
  4. Annexes updated
  5. PDF's updated
  6. PDFs updated
  7. Annexes updated
  8. Annexes updated in line with variation published 03 January 2019
  9. Documents updated
  10. 2019 annexes updated
  11. Schedules updated to reflect variation published 29 November 2018
  12. Annexes updated
  13. Annexes updated
  14. Annexes updated
  15. 9199 and 4599 updated
  16. Annexes updated
  17. Annexes updated
  18. Annexes updated
  19. Annexes updated
  20. Annexes updated in line with variation published 20 September 2018
  21. Documents updated
  22. Annexes updated
  23. Documents updated
  24. Annexes updated
  25. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 25 August 2018
  26. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 16 August 2018
  27. Annexes updated
  28. Annexes updated
  29. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 01 July 2018
  30. Application to change UK fisheries administration form added
  31. Annexes updated
  32. Annexes updated
  33. Annexes updated
  34. PDF updated
  35. Annexe 1199 and 1299 updated
  36. Annexes updated
  37. Documents updated
  38. Annexes updated in line with variation published 20 April 2018
  39. Annexes added for variation effective 18 April 2018
  40. Documents updated
  41. Annexes updated
  42. Annexe 4599 and 9199 updated
  43. Documents updated
  44. Annexes updated
  45. licence variation for under 10 metre vessels
  46. Bass variation added
  47. Documents updated
  48. Documents updated
  49. Variations effective from 00:01 hours, Sunday 14 January 2018 added
  50. Latent capacity licence update
  51. 2018 annexes added
  52. Annexe 119 updated
  53. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 18 December 2017
  54. Annexes updated
  55. Annexes updated
  56. Annexes updated
  57. Documents updated
  58. Annexes updated in line with variation effective 19 November 2017
  59. Documents updated
  60. Documents updated
  61. Documents updated
  62. Annexes updated
  63. Variations effective from 00:01 hours, Monday 23 October 2017 added
  64. Documents updated
  65. 1199 and 1299 updated
  66. Annex 119 updated
  67. Documents updated
  68. Annexes updated
  69. 31sch updated
  70. Documents updated
  71. Annexes updated
  72. Documents updated
  73. Annexes updated
  74. Annexes updated
  75. Schedules updated
  76. Annexes updated
  77. Documents updated
  78. Annexe 1116 and 1117 updated
  79. Annexes updated
  80. Annexes updated
  81. Text added
  82. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 22 June 2017
  83. Annexes updated in line with variation effective 2 June 2017
  84. Annexes updated
  85. Annexes updated in line with variation of 25 May 2017
  86. Annexes updated in line with variation 18 May 2017
  87. Annexes updated in line with variation published 12 May 2017
  88. Annexes updated
  89. Annexe 117 updated
  90. Annexes 319, 199 updated
  91. changes to annexes in line with variation dated 01 May 2017
  92. Annexes updated
  93. Documents updated
  94. Changes in line with variation dated 6 April 2017
  95. Annexes updated
  96. Annexe updated
  97. 23sch updated
  98. Annexe 4599 and 9199 updated
  99. 4599 updated
  100. Annexes updated
  101. Documents updated
  102. 118 updated
  103. Annexes updated
  104. Annexes updated
  105. Documents updated
  106. Annexes updated
  107. 4599 and 9199 updated
  108. Annexe 4599 and 9199
  109. 2017 annexes updated
  110. Documents updated
  111. Updates in line with variation dated 12 December 2016
  112. Update to annexe 118 and 1120
  113. Annex updated in line with variation dated 6 December 2016
  114. Cornish FPO Pelagic Category A licence added
  115. Documents updated
  116. Annexes updated
  117. Annexes updated
  118. Documents updates
  119. Annexe 1110 updated
  120. Annexes updated
  121. Page updated
  122. Annexe 1119 updated
  123. Annexes updated
  124. Annexes updated
  125. Annexes updated
  126. Documents updated
  127. Documents updated
  128. Annexes updated
  129. Documents updated
  130. Annexes updated
  131. Annexes updated
  132. Annexes updated
  133. Updated annexes in line with variation dated 09 September 2016
  134. Annexes updated
  135. Annexes updated
  136. Annexes updated
  137. Annexe 9199 updated
  138. Annexe 9199 updated
  139. Annexe 119 updated
  140. Annexes updated
  141. 11sch updated
  142. Variations effective from 00:01 hours, Thursday 11 August 2016 added
  143. PDFs updated
  144. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 29 July 2016
  145. Annexes updated
  146. Annexes updated
  147. Annexes updated
  148. Annexe 9199 updated
  149. Annexes updated
  150. Annexe 9199, 1199, 1299 updated
  151. Annexes updated
  152. Annexes updated
  153. Annexe 1199 and 1299 updated
  154. Documents updated
  155. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 24 June 2016
  156. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 22 June 2016
  157. Annex updated in line with variation dated 13 June 2016
  158. Annexes udpated
  159. Annexes updated
  160. Documents updated
  161. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 27 May 2016
  162. Annex's updated in line with variation dated 26 May 2016
  163. Annex updated in line with variation dated 20 May 2016
  164. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 19 May 2016
  165. Annex updated in line with variation dated Friday 13 May 2016
  166. Annexes updated in line with variation dated 11 May 2016
  167. Annexes updated
  168. Annexe 1116 updated
  169. Documents updated
  170. various updates in line with variation dated 22 April 2016
  171. Annexes updated
  172. changes in line with variation dated 11 April 2016
  173. Annexes updated
  174. update to Annexes in line with variation dated 31 March 2016
  175. Annexes updated
  176. changes to annexe in line with variation dated 24 March 2016
  177. Annexe 9199 updated
  178. Conditions updated
  179. Annexes updated
  180. Annexes updated
  181. annexes updated
  182. Annexes updated
  183. Annexe 9199 updated
  184. Annexes updated
  185. Annexe 3199 updated
  186. Annexes updated
  187. Annexes updated
  188. Various annexes removed
  189. Annexes updated
  190. Annexes updated
  191. Real time closure conditions updated
  192. Schedules updated
  193. Annexe 1119 changed
  194. 11, 12, 17, 31, 41 and transitional conditions PDFs changed
  195. 91 and 94 schedules updated
  196. Annexes updated
  197. Annexe updated
  198. Annexes updated
  199. Documents updated
  200. Annexe 119 updated
  201. Annexes updated
  202. Annexe 1125 and 1725 updated
  203. Annexe 1123 updated
  204. All documents updated
  205. changes to schedules in line with variation dated 21 December 2015
  206. Annexes updated
  207. Changes in line with variation dated 11 December 2015
  208. Documents updated
  209. Annexes updated
  210. Schedule 17 updated
  211. changes to annexes in line with variation dated 26 November 2015
  212. Schedule 17 updated
  213. Annexes updated
  214. Annexe 119 and 319 updated
  215. Documents updated
  216. Documents updated
  217. update to annexe in line with updated variation dated Friday 13 November
  218. changes to annexes in line with variation dated Friday 13 November 2015
  219. Documents updated
  220. change to annexe in line with variation dated Thursday 08 November 2015
  221. Annexes updated
  222. Annexes updated
  223. Annexes updated
  224. Annex 9199, 9499, 119 and 319 updated
  225. Schedules updated
  226. Annexe 913 updated
  227. South Western Fish Producers' Organisation (313) added
  228. Documents updated
  229. Documents updated
  230. Annexe 1199 updated
  231. Annexe 119, 1110, and 4110 updated
  232. Documents updated
  233. 18 documents updated
  234. Annexe 119 updated
  235. Changes made to annexes in line with variation dated 18 September 2015
  236. Changes to Annexe1117 in ine with varaition dated 18 September 2015
  237. changes to annexes in line with variation dated 16 September 2015
  238. PDFs updated
  239. 23con PDF updated
  240. Annexe updated
  241. Annexe 1110 updated
  242. Annexes updated
  243. Annexes updated
  244. Annexe 119 and 319 updated
  245. Annexes updated
  246. Annexes updated
  247. Documents changed
  248. PDFs updated
  249. Annexe 118 updated
  250. Annexes updated
  251. Annexe 119 updated
  252. Documents updated
  253. Annexes updated
  254. Annexe updated
  255. Annexes updated
  256. Annexes updated to reflect Scottish real time closure
  257. Annexes SWFPO, FPO, SFPO, NIFPO, Aberdeen FPO, NESFPO, EEFPO, Fleetwood FPO, NSFO. West of Scotland FPO, NAFPO and the Isle of Man updated
  258. Annexes changed to reflect restrictions in bass fishing
  259. Over 10 metre vessels - Deep sea species schedule changed
  260. Documents updated
  261. Annex 119 added
  262. Conditions PDFs changed
  263. Annexe 9199 updated
  264. Annexe updated
  265. Annexes and conditions updated
  266. Annexe 112 updated
  267. Annexes updated according to variation dated 14 May 2015
  268. Annexe 119 and 319 updated
  269. Documents updated
  270. Documents updated
  271. Vessel licence changes effective from 00:01 hours, Friday 1 May 2015.
  272. Annex updated according to variation dated 24 April 2015
  273. Annexe 1199 updated
  274. Conditions 11, 12, 17, 31, 41 and transitional 11 condition
  275. Conditions 11, 12, 17, 31, 41 updated. Transitional 11 condition updated
  276. Annexe1110 updated
  277. Annexe 1110 updated
  278. PDFs updated
  279. Additional documents relating to variation dated 30 March 2015
  280. Annexes updated
  281. Annexe 1125 and 1725 added
  282. Annexe 9199 updated
  283. Conditions 11, 12, 17, 31 and 41 and Transitional 11.
  284. Annexe 9199 and 9499 updated
  285. Annexe 1125 and 1725 updated
  286. Annexe 9199 updated
  287. Annex 9199, 9499, 1199, 1299, 3199, 1110, 1119 updated
  288. Transitional Condition A (11) updated
  289. Updates to conditions and schedules for licences 11,12, 17, 31, 41
  290. Annexe 9199 updated
  291. Transitional 11con schedule updated
  292. Annexe 9199 updated
  293. Annexes updated as per variation dated 30 January 2015
  294. annex updated due to variation dated 22 January 2014
  295. Changes to annexes 1125 and 1725 in line with variation 18 January 2015
  296. Annexe 119 and Annexe 319 updated
  297. Changes to annexes 111, 171, 911
  298. Annexe 9499 updated
  299. updated to reflect licence variation effective 00.01 on Thursday 1 January 2015
  300. Changes to annex 119
  301. Changes to annexe 9199
  302. Changes to annexes in line with variation dated 14 December
  303. Changes to annexes in line with variation dated 5 December 2014
  304. updated a number of documents following licence variation (9199, 1199, 1299 and 3199).
  305. annexes updated to match variation
  306. Annexes updated to match variation
  307. Updated to match variation issued 31 October
  308. Updated to reflect variation
  309. Annexes changed to match vessel licence variation
  310. annexes updated to match licence variation
  311. Annexes updated as per variation effective 12 October
  312. annexes updated to match licence variation
  313. schedules updated to reflect variation dated 29 September 2014
  314. updated according to licence variation
  315. Updated a number of annexes to reflect licence variation effective 22 September
  316. Updated annex for licence 112
  317. updated a number of annexes
  318. Annexes updated as per variation
  319. annexes updated
  320. Annexes updated according to licence variation
  321. annexes updated according to licence variation dated 15 August 2014
  322. Licence annexes updated in association with licence variation issued 8 August 2014
  323. Annexes updated
  324. Licence annexes uploaded in line with variation
  325. Schedules updated
  326. First published.