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Commercial Fishing


I-VMS roll-out schedule released for English fishers

Following last week’s announcement of the restart of the roll-out of Inshore Vessel Monitoring System (I-VMS) devices, MMO has released further details on the schedule and plan for English port visits.

From 9 August 2023, fishers have been able to purchase, and arrange the installation of, a type-approved device, either the Fulcrum NEMO or Succorfish SC2, directly with suppliers. To help both industry and suppliers coordinate installations effectively, MMO has shared information on a series of scheduled port visits running from 4 September to 30 November 2023.

The roll-out plan will see installation engineers available in fishers’ home ports for set periods, starting in ports with the highest numbers of registered vessels requiring the installation of a device. The first ports being targeted are:

  • Brixham
  • Eastbourne
  • Hastings
  • Mevagissey
  • Newlyn
  • Plymouth
  • Poole
  • Portsmouth
  • Scarborough
  • Whitby

Fishers that operate from these ports are being encouraged to book installations between 4 and 24 September 2023.

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, ensuring fishers across England are given the opportunity to choose, purchase and install I-VMS devices in advance of legislation coming into effect next year.

MMO is contacting fishers directly with dates and locations of engineer availability in their local port, which are also available online www.gov.uk/mmo/i-vms-england .

In line with assurances given to fishers, MMO has confirmed it will cover purchase and installation costs of up to £1,050 to support fishers to secure a suitable I-VMS device.

The process for fishers reclaiming purchase and installation costs has changed. Rather than waiting for installations and transmission of a ‘ping test’ of data to MMO, fishers can now claim their European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) grant with evidence of proof of purchase.

MMO aims to process all successful grant applications within 3-5 working days, meaning fishers could be reimbursed within a week of purchasing their device.

To meet grant payment conditions, fishers will need to claim by 30 November 2023, and ensure devices are installed within 90 days of purchase.

The focus of the roll-out plan is currently the over-6-metre fleet while MMO works with suppliers and industry to fully understand the practicalities of I-VMS for under-6-metre vessels and their inclusion in the roll-out.

While MMO is encouraging industry to adopt this roll-out plan, fishers can now book an installation directly with their preferred supplier between now and the 30 November. Those subject to existing legal requirements to operate a I-VMS device, either through IFCA or Welsh Government legislation, should take action immediately.

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.

I-VMS devices monitor inshore fishing activity and will, for the first time, provide a full picture of fishing vessel activity in English waters. I-VMS data will allow MMO to better represent fisheries in key activities such as quota negotiations and marine planning to improve sustainable and traceable fisheries management.

Tom McCormack, MMO Chief Executive said: “MMO is fully committed to delivering on our promise to support industry to be ready for I-VMS and ensure fishers are fully prepared before the Statutory Instrument is implemented in 2024.

“MMO remains committed to supporting industry, which is why we have simplified the process for fishers to reclaim costs as quickly as possible, and worked in collaboration with device suppliers and installation engineers on this detailed roll-out schedule. 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”.

The dedicated helpline set up to help with enquiries is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Fishers should call 01900 508618 or email ivms@marinemanagement.org.uk.

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

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/i-vms-roll-out-schedule-released