No foreign ownership probe, says MMO

Published by FiskerForum, 23-08-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

The UK’s Marine Management Organisation has quashed rumours that it is carrying out an investigation into foreign ownership of UK-flagged fishing vessels.

Earlier this month a TV report claimed that such an investigation into foreign ownership of UK fishing vessels was being carried out by MMO staff.

A spokesperson for the MMO has stated that the media behind this report had failed to check its facts directly with the MMO, commenting that no such investigation is taking place and that the Economic Link that vessel owners must demonstrate is not a ‘loophole’ in the law, as had been reported

‘We do not take owner nationality or residency criteria into account as part of our fisheries management functions. Foreign ownership of fishing vessels has previously been the subject of a judicial review, providing relevant case law,’ the MMO stated.

‘Our fisheries management work includes periodic review of the activities of vessels which take part in the Economic Link scheme.’

The MMO’s spokesman commented that there are clear requirements that all UK registered fishing vessels must demonstrate, regardless of where their ownership is based and this requirement was introduced from 1st January 1999.

Under the four options available, it must be demonstrated that a vessel lands at least 50% by weight of the its catch of quota stocks into the UK, employs a crew of whom at least 50% are normally resident in a UK coastal area, incurs a significant level of operating expenditure in the UK for goods and services provided in UK coastal areas, or is able to demonstrate an economic link by other means (including combinations of the previously mentioned requirements) providing sufficient benefit to populations dependent on fisheries and related industries.

Source: MMO

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