Engineers to begin targeted port visits at start of September

The MMO has now confirmed details of the roll-out of iVMS to the English inshore fleet, following last week’s announcement of the restart of the programme (Fishing News, 17 August, ‘iVMS roll-out restarts’).

Installation had been put on hold following the debacle involving two suppliers who had their type approval withdrawn, after a large portion of the fleet had already paid for and fitted terminals.

Just two devices, the Fulcrum NEMO and Succorfish SC2, can now be fitted, with a request that any existing terminals aboard that were previously installed with grants be removed by the engineers fitting the replacement systems.

To help both industry and suppliers co-ordinate installations effectively, the MMO has shared information on a series of scheduled port visits running from 4 September to 30 November, as shown on the maps above.

Vessel owners operating from the first tranche of ports to be visited are urged by the MMO to book installations between 4 and 24 September.

An additional 25 ports will be targeted from early October, including Shoreham-by-Sea, North Shields, Fleetwood, Isles of Scilly, Southwold and Weymouth. Engineers will then be available for bookings at a further 22 ports from late October, with the aim of ensuring that fishermen across England are given the opportunity to choose, purchase and install approved iVMS devices in advance of legislation coming into effect next year.

To encourage take-up, an MMO spokesperson confirmed that it would be making direct contact with all registered vessel owners, who also have the option to register and book an appointment via a dedicated portal at:

What the MMO claims is a ‘streamlined grant approval process’ for installation costs of up to £1050 means that owners can now claim their European Maritime and Fisheries Fund grant with evidence of proof of purchase. Previously, grants were only paid after full testing of the units and submission of a report confirming that this had been successful. It is hoped that this will enable repayments within five working days to eligible owners who meet the installation schedule and submit claims by 30 November.

Further consideration is being given to roll-out timetables and payment schedules for the smallest vessels in the fleet, under 6m. Under-6m boats needing to meet the iVMS requirements to fish in IFCA districts where this is part of permit conditions, or in Wales, are eligible to arrange for their devices to be installed within the current timetable for 6-12m vessels.

MMO chief executive Tom McCormack said: “The MMO is fully committed to delivering on our promise to support industry to be ready for iVMS and ensure fishers are fully prepared before the statutory instrument is implemented in 2024.

“It is our aim to make the installation process convenient and efficient for fishers, help reduce disruption to fishing activity, and best support industry.

“Our coastal teams at quaysides and MMO offices also remain on hand to support and assist, and our dedicated hotline will stay open throughout the roll-out to guide fishers through their next steps.”

FN reported last week that the statutory instrument expected to be laid in parliament in 2024 would make iVMS mandatory for all under-12m vessels in the UK. This was not technically correct. Whilst the UK Joint Fisheries Statement confirms that all vessels in the UK will be operating iVMS by 2024 – and Marine Scotland confirmed the start of the process north of the border this week (see page 2) – the statutory instrument will only apply to English vessels.

The dedicated helpline set up to help with enquiries is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, on: 01900 508618 or:

For more information, go to:

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.50 here

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