Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

The MMO has confirmed the roll-out of inshore vessel monitoring system (I-VMS) devices has been restarted.

Following independent testing, two devices – Fulcrum NEMO and Succorfish SC2 – remain type approved. MMO has been working closely with the suppliers of both devices to make it easier and more convenient for fishermen to now order devices and have them installed.

I-VMS devices monitor inshore fishing activity and will, for the first time, provide a full picture of fishing vessel activity in English waters.

The new I-VMS roll-out plan is based on an installation schedule of port visits running from 4 September to 30 November 2023.

The roll-out plan will see installation engineers available in fishermen’s  home ports for set periods, starting in ports with the highest numbers of registered vessels. MMO will initially focus the roll-out on the over 6 metre fleet and details will be publicised in advance. Over the next few weeks, MMO will also be working with suppliers and industry to fully understand the practicalities and plan the inclusion of under 6 metre vessels in the roll-out.

MMO will contact fishermen directly over the coming weeks with details of the dates when engineers will be available for their port, although fishermen can also book an installation directly with their preferred supplier from today. Anyone with a device already fitted which is no longer type approved should not attempt to remove it themselves – the removal and safe disposal of any non type approved device is covered as part of the revised installation process.

In line with assurances given to fishermen, MMO confirms it will cover costs of up to £1,050 to support fishermen secure a suitable I-VMS device, meaning fishermen can reclaim purchase and installation costs. The process for claiming funding has been streamlined and fishermen should now claim their European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) grant by providing proof of purchase from their preferred supplier, before 30 November 2023.

Tom McCormack, MMO Chief Executive said: “I-VMS data will allow us to better represent fisheries in key activities such as quota negotiations and marine planning. It will also help us improve sustainable and traceable fisheries management.

That is why we are committed to delivering on our promise to support industry to be ready for I-VMS and ensure fishermen are fully prepared before the Statutory Instrument is implemented in 2024.

We are working with I-VMS device suppliers and installation engineers and are collectively focused on the roll-out plan from September through to November. Beginning with the targeting of ports with the highest numbers of vessels, we are aiming to make the installation process more convenient and efficient for fishermen, helping to reduce disruption to fishing activity, and best supporting industry.

I can confirm actions have been taken to simplify the way fishersmen can claim their EMFF grant payments, providing they do so before 30 November 2023.

MMO remains committed to supporting industry and we will be sending full details and guidance directly to affected fishermen from mid-August. 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 fishermen through their next steps”.

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help with enquiries – call 01900 508618 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. You can also email MMO at ivms@marinemanagement.org.uk.

For more information please visit: www.gov.uk/mmo/i-vms-england