The MMO is entering the next phase of its I-VMS roll-out, extending support to under six-metre in length fishing vessels
The UK’s Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is entering the next phase of its inshore vessel monitoring system (I-VMS) roll-out, extending support to vessels under six-metres in length.
This move aligns with the MMO’s commitment to helping vessels under 12 metres meet the forthcoming I-VMS device requirements set to come into force in early 2024.
Fishers operating vessels under six metres will enjoy the same grant funding opportunities, with up to £1,050 available per vessel. The streamlined claims process simplifies matters, now only demanding proof of purchase before repayments are issued, typically within three to five working days. The deadline for making funding claims extends until Monday, December 18, 2023.
Importantly, MMO has confirmed that fishers with under six metre vessels will not be held to the phased installation schedule that was previously published for 80% of home ports earlier this year. Instead, they are encouraged to focus on ordering their I-VMS devices and claiming costs to maximize their use of available funding before the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund closes. Notably, grant claims no longer require evidence of device installation or data ping tests, making it even more straightforward for vessel owners to get involved. As a result, installations should be booked as early as possible.
Suppliers of type-approved I-VMS devices, Fulcrum and Succorfish, have indicated that their units are adaptable for the under six metre fleet and offer removable power sources. Fishers are urged to contact these suppliers to discuss the best options suited to their specific needs.
Peter Clark, MMO’s Director of Operations, highlighted the significance of I-VMS data, stating, “I-VMS data will, for the first time, allow us to really understand fishing activity to enhance fishing opportunities and help us build models that support fisheries management and protection. Data from under six metre vessels will provide an important element to our current understanding, especially when it comes to small-scale opportunities and displacement issues.”
Clark emphasized the multifaceted benefits of gathering I-VMS data from the under six metre fleet, including improved search and rescue support, enhanced traceability of sea-to-plate journeys, and better comprehension and management of marine conservation and protection.
He added, “We are committed to balancing the needs of protecting our marine environment while supporting economic and social prosperity for communities and the fishing industry – of which the under six metre fleet is a key element. We would like to thank everyone that has begun or completed the process of obtaining an I-VMS device.”
The phased roll-out for vessels over six metres, announced during the summer, is progressing well, with 50% of the fleet having already acquired an I-VMS device. The plans for the over six metre fleet remain intact, and fishers are strongly urged to book installations during the specified dates for their home ports to avoid installation delays. The deadline for compliance is November 30, 2023.
MMO remains committed to supporting the industry by providing direct guidance to affected fishers. Coastal teams are available at quaysides and MMO offices, and a dedicated helpline has been established to address inquiries – call 01900 508618 Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Alternatively, you can contact MMO via email at [email protected].
For more detailed information and updates, please visit the Inshore Vessel Monitoring (I-VMS) for under-6m fishing vessels registered in England.