Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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I-VMS legislation due to come into force this year

New legislation requiring all under-12 metre vessels fishing in English waters to have an operational inshore vessel monitoring system (I-VMS) device, is just months away from being in place.  

The positional data provided by I-VMS devices will aid in ensuring the sustainability of UK fisheries and provide a more thorough understanding of fishing practices.   

With industry now well-prepared, Defra has confirmed to Marine Management Organisation (MMO), that the drafting of the legislation is in its final stages.   

MMO can confirm that over 80% of the English under-12m fleet have purchased a device, claiming £1.3m in grant funding to cover purchase and installation costs. Almost 100% of those purchasing a device have their devices installed, with the remaining installations due in the coming weeks, pending completion of vessel refits or other exceptional circumstances which may have prevented installations from happening sooner.  

Sean Douglas, Head of Regulatory Assurance for MMO said:

“We have been preparing for the new legislation to be laid this spring, and it is good to know that the review process is in its final stages. As such, all vessels fishing in English waters should be prepared to have an operational I-VMS device in place from this summer.  

“Our priority for the I-VMS roll-out programme has always been to support industry to be ready for this new legislation. The positive uptake has been great to see and we thank everyone who has participated so far.  

“There are still a few fishers yet to purchase a device and arrange installations. For those to be compliant with the legislation and be able to fish lawfully when it comes into effect, we urge them to contact the suppliers of the two type-approved devices while there is still time.”

The exact schedule for laying this new law is due the coming weeks. 

Fishers can contact the suppliers directly and MMO’s I-VMS helpline remains available 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday, on 01900 508618 - or you can email questions to


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