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Commercial Fishing


MMO updates compliance strategy

MMO updates compliance strategy – The UK’s Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has published an updated strategy setting out their overall approach to facilitating and achieving compliance across all areas that the MMO regulates but in particular marine licensing and fisheries management.

It provides information about the general principles the MMO will follow for the information of those affected parties and others with an interest in the MMO. Where applicable the MMO has published subsidiary policies which detail an enhanced approach to the compliance of regulated activities.

The MMO’s monitoring and enforcement functions relates predominately to English waters. However, the MMO also has responsibility for the activities of UK registered fishing vessels in the rest of the world and for the control of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activities that occur within the UK.

The MMO uses the various monitoring and enforcement measures at its disposal to endeavour to ensure protection of the marine environment, and that no party engaged in regulated activity gains an unfair market advantage by breaking the rules and that honest and law abiding people, organisations and industry are not disadvantaged by being compliant.

The Marine Management Organisation was created by the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and are now a team of almost 300 people. We combine our Newcastle upon Tyne and London operations with a local presence around the English coastline in North Shields, Scarborough, Grimsby, Lowestoft, Harwich, Hastings, Shoreham, Poole, Portsmouth, Brixham, Plymouth, Penzance, Whitehaven and Preston.

Responsible for:

  • managing and monitoring fishing fleet sizes and quotas for catches
  • ensuring compliance with fisheries regulations, such as fishing vessel licences, time at sea and quotas for fish and seafood
  • managing funding programmes for fisheries activities
  • planning and licensing for marine construction, deposits and dredging that may have an environmental, economic or social impact
  • making marine nature conservation byelaws
  • dealing with marine pollution emergencies, including oil spills
  • helping to prevent illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing worldwide
  • producing marine plans to include all marine activities, including those we don’t directly regulate
  • enforcing wildlife legislation and issuing wildlife licences


  • publish the plans and guidance for England’s East Inshore and East Offshore Marine Plan Areas and continue to work on the south marine plans
  • improve the application process for marine licences and harbour applications
  • work with other regulators and government bodies to coordinate marine and coastal development, using marine plans as a basis for decisions
  • support the fishing industry by helping businesses access grants from the European Fisheries Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
  • work with the fishing industry and other government bodies to achieve the changes set out in the new Common Fisheries Policy
  • make sure the fisheries industry knows about changes in EU and domestic laws that affect them
  • ensure that our stewardship of MPAs contributes to a well-managed network, bringing together conservation authorities and other regulatory bodies