Decommissioning Scheme Opens –

Decommissioning Scheme Opens Fishing Monthly Published:  13 March, 2003

THE Scottish fishing vessel decommissioning scheme aimed at reducing fishing effort on cod by a further 15-20%, is now open for applications, it was announced today.

The scheme is part of an aid package of up to £50 million announced by the Minister for Environment and Rural Development Ross Finnie.

Fishing vessel owners will be eligible to apply if – at the date the application is made – they hold a valid Category A fishing licence and their vessel:is registered in the United Kingdom as a fishing vessel under Section 8(5) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995;has had since 1 January 2003, and continues to have until the date of the application, a port of administration in Scotland;is at least 10 metres in overall length;spent at least 75 days at sea on fishing trips in each of the years 2001 and 2002;is seaworthy. This means that if the registered length of the vessel is over 12 metres, it must have a valid safety certificate or letter of satisfaction issued on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport.

Vessel owners will have until 18 April to apply for a grant to decommission their vessel. Successful applicants will have until 31 October 2003 to decommission their vessel and claim their grant. An advance (50%) of grant may be paid on surrender of the vessel’s fishing licence(s) and the cessation of fishing, provided that is done by 30 June 2003.