More than a quarter of the English inshore fleet has already been fitted with the new devices as the Inshore Vessel Monitoring System (I-VMS) rollout approaches the six-month stage, according to the Marine Management Organisation.
From the end of 2022, it will be a legal requirement in English waters for any fishing vessel under 12 metres to have I-VMS installed and operating.
There has been a phased rollout so far, providing vessel owners with time to choose, buy, arrange installation and test signal transmission with their suppliers to the I-VMS hub. This also takes into account the anticipated increase in demand for devices and installation when the other smaller vessels in the fleet begin to acquire devices, later in the roll-out.
According to the MMO, while significant progress is being made with 6-7.99m vessels, there a small number of vessel operators in the 10-11.99m and 8m-9.99m size brackets have still not responded, which could result delays in receiving the £650 grant payment available to help cover purchase and installation costs.
The I-VMS support and engagement team is contacting as many of those fishermen as possible to provide advice and support to help them act as quickly as possible and claim the grant funding payments to which all fishermen are entitled.
The MMO states that issues with integration to the I-VMS Hub, which may have delayed test signal transmissions, have now also been addressed.