Introduction of Inshore Vessel Monitoring Systems (iVMS) for fishing boats under 12m – consultation

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are seeking views on proposals to introduce iVMS on all fishing vessels under 12m in length.

Defra are encouraging everyone with an interest to have their say in a formal consultation on the proposed measures.  More information on the proposals and how to take part in the consultation can be found on the Defra website – https://consult.defra.gov.uk/marine-management/introduction-of-inshore-vessel-monitoring-systems/

Eastern IFCA perspective

The introduction of iVMS to all vessels under 12m has long been supported by the Authority and would have several benefits to fishers and to fisheries managers:

  • Fisheries management – inshore fishing information is relatively sparse. The ability to collate and analyse iVMS data will support better informed decision making.
  • Marine Protected Areas – More accurate fishing information, particularly where and when fishing takes place, will result in better informed impact assessments and in more robust, less precautionary management measures.
  • Marine planning – accurate spatial information will benefit marine planning with fishing activity being taken into account more effectively with a robust evidence base.
  • Marketing/ customer confidence – supporting improved marketing of local fish by demonstrating local catch and improving customer confidence.
  • Using your data – fishers will have access to their data enabling improved business planning, demonstrating track record and an evidence base to use in consultations (e.g. marine infrastructure development)

Eastern IFCA has set out a case for the introduction of iVMS at the November 2016 Full Authority Meeting – see pg 57 to 61 of the Authority papers here – http://www.eastern-ifca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2016_11_02_-full-set.pdf

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