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