The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture is to develop a system of sea fishing licence fees that best reflects the value of the resource.
A new sub-group of the Future Fisheries working group – the body set up to deliver DEFA’s strategy of the same name – is to examine the whole issue of licence fees over the course of the next year.
Vessels may only fish in Manx waters if they are licenced. At present, a flat fee, set by Tynwald every two years, is applied to all vessels even though they have different conditions and fish for different species.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture said:
‘The fisheries sector is valuable to our economy and part of our national identity and we are constantly striving to ensure its sustainability.
‘We will seek views and work closely with the industry to devise a system that better supports enforcement of the law, implementation of management schemes and gaining a better scientific understanding of stocks, all of which will have long term benefits.’
Licences issued under current regulations expire on 31 March 2017.
As an interim measure while the matter is fully explored, the Minister will this month ask Tynwald to set a fee payable for just one year, 2017-2018.