To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the new rules applying to the aggregation and transfer of fishing vessel licences, and to the licensees of vessels of 10 m registered length and below.
The required reduction in capacity where fishing vessel licences are aggregated is increased with immediate effect from 10 to 20 per cent. In addition all transfers of single licences between vessels are now subject to a 20 per cent. reduction in capacity. The formula for calculating vessel capacity remains unchanged. Fisheries Departments are writing to fishing organisations notifying them of the change and seeking views as to whether these reductions should be varied, for instance, according to type and/or age of vessel.These rules apply to all new applications. Applications for transfers or aggregations lodged with Fisheries Departments on or before 27 February will be dealt with under the rules in force at the time.In addition, from 1 January 1993 all vessels of 10 m and below wishing to fish for sea fish for profit will require a licence. However, fishing for salmon or migratory trout and fishing by vessels used wholly for the purpose of conveying persons wishing to fish for pleasure with rod and line and by hand line will continue to be exempt from this requirement. Licences will in principle be issued only to vessels which are already actively involved in fishing. This will be assessed by reference to whether the vessel was registered under part II of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 on 27 February 1992, the date of my original announcement, and whether it was fishing for profit in the preceding 12 months. Fisheries Departments will be consulting the industry about the detailed operation of these rules, including their application to replacement vessels, and about other matters arising from the licensing of this part of the fleet.