MMO announces extension to the deadline for Trance 1 installations of I-VMS devices on English fishing vessels under-12 metres in length
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has announced that an extension to the deadline for Trance 1 installations of I-VMS devices on English fishing vessels under-12 metres in length.
For vessel in the 10 metres to 11.99 metre group, devices must be installed by 16/05/2022 with the grant claimed back by 17/06/2022.
The rollout of the I-VMS for under-12 metre fishing boats has not been without its controversies.
One of the suppliers of the I-VMS devices was suspended off the list of approved suppliers by the MMO and then reinstated. The calamity caused great worry for fishermen who had that supplier’s devices installed or ordered.
Small-scale fishermen expressed concerns about the rollout of the I-VMS and expressed anxiety over the time frame which had initially been given to the fleet to install the devices on their vessels.
This project, originally timetabled for roll-out by the UK Government in 2019 has suffered serious delays, that saw the type approval process led by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) only being conducted in the last half 2021. This led to suppliers, whose systems had ‘met’ the criteria being approved and named just before Christmas. The MMO cannot recommend one supplier over another and can only publish the most basic information about the suppliers and their products.
The first tranche of vessels 10-12m were initially given until 14 March 2022 to choose and install the kit, in order to receive grant funding support from the MMO. Fishermen were left with just weeks to conduct due diligence on the kit offered, on the company’s financial health and stability and review contracts being offered by the companies for the services and warranty they are offering. The Fishing Daily highlighted that this would be a tight timeframe with the need for specialist legal advice even for larger companies with shore-based support. But many in the small-scale fleet are owner operators, most are micro businesses, and many will not have to investigate suppliers and contracts in this way before.
Plymouth Labour MP and former Shadow Fisheries Minister, Luke Pollard welcomed the news of the time extension saying, “Good to see the_MMO extend the deadline for the new IVMS system. This is a victory for many campaigners in the fishing industry from the south west and a victory for common sense. Let’s see similar pragmatism on CatchApp next.”
The MMO has announced that, “From today, we invite fishers with 8m-9.99m vessels in the English inshore fleet to choose, buy and arrange installation of one of the four test approved I-VMS devices.”