New Licensing Arrangements Unveiled –

New Licensing Arrangements Unveiled Fishing Monthly Published:  21 November, 2002

New licensing plans revealed by Finnie

SCOTTISH Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie today announced changes to fishing vessel licensing arrangements, following publication of a report by a joint UK industry and Fisheries Departments’ working group.

The report proposes that the present system of capacity penalties based on vessel capacity units (VCUs) should be replaced by one based on tonnage and engine power.

A final decision on the timing and detail of this change will be made following the Common Fisheries Policy review, with a target implementation date of mid-2004.

Further recommendations include the introduction of a capacity penalty (10%)for single licence transfers involving eight to ten metre vessels, from 1 May 2004. Permission to aggregate certain Category C licences with Category B licences without the loss of right to fish for Category B stocks, and to transfer licences between vessels of ten metres or under with outboard and inboard engines, comes into immediate effect.

The Fisheries Departments are also considering greater flexibility in licensing arrangements in future, for pelagic freezer trawlers and vessels holding purse seine licences and the development of on-board, value-adding processing facilities. Views from industry on this, which reflects current CFP Review proposals to allow Member States greater flexibility to manage the composition of their fleets, are being invited.