Fishing Vessels: Monitoring

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 26th July 2021.

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Photo of Ruth Edwards Ruth Edwards Conservative, Rushcliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his Department is taking to mandate the use of Inshore Vessel Monitoring Systems (I-VMS) for fishing vessels under 12 metres.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Control and enforcement is a devolved matter. Defra, the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive continue to work together to share information and ensure a coordinated approach to monitoring, compliance and enforcement across UK waters.

The requirement to have a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) for all vessels under 12 metres when fishing in English waters, irrespective of nationality, will ultimately be mandated by a Statutory Instrument and amendments to the licence conditions for those fishing vessels.

This work is progressing, and following an initial public consultation in 2018, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) recently undertook a series of engagement sessions and an industry survey to gain further feedback. This feedback will be used to inform planned discussions about the specification requirements with companies that may supply the required VMS devices.

The MMO plans to conduct more sessions with industry over the summer and autumn and hopes to be able to begin roll-out of VMS devices to the under 12 metre fleet following this engagement.

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