DEFRA is consulting on bringing in a UK <12m VSM scheme

Vessel Monitoring has been in place for UK fishing vessels over 12 metres since 2013, but now DEFRA is launching a consultation on introducing VMS for all fishing vessels, potentially making monitoring also mandatory for the under-12 fleet with an Inshore (I-VMS) system.

According to DEFRA, the VMS data could also allow fishermen to market their produce as sustainably caught, providing consumers with greater awareness of where their fish has come from and helping them to make more informed decisions.

‘Introducing I-VMS for under 12 metre vessels will provide a more accurate picture on fishing location and activity, which will help inform future fisheries management and sustainability,’ DEFRA states.

‘Monitoring systems play a crucial role in developing a framework for fisheries management that is both profitable and sustainable – and that allows all sections of our fleet to thrive,’ commented fisheries minister George Eustice.

‘I now encourage everyone with an interest to have their say by responding to the consultation.’

DEFRA also states that there are proposals for the initial cost and installation of the equipment to be met by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund in order to minimise cost to industry.

The six-week consultation ends on 14th November and interested parties are invited to share their opinions on a potential I-VMS scheme.

Source: DEFRA