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MMO VMS fishing activity


I have a few questions regarding the VMS fishing activity data provided by the MMO.

  1. Please could you confirm the time units? We assume hours, but would like confirmation.
  2. Clearly, the TOT category is the total activity for all gear types. But there appears to be additional hierarchy - some gear types include the data for other categories. Please could you let me know how these break down?
  3. Is there any guidance documentation for how this data is produced?
  4. Is there any update on progress with publishing the 2018 dataset?



Katy Murphy //

Official comment


Hello Katie, 

Apologies for the delay in responding, please see answers to your questions below:

  1. The time units are ‘hours at sea’                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  2. The following statement is taken from the metadata, which hopefully explains how the data were produced and how the gear types break down (but do let me know if you need any further, or different info): ‘’This data set provides summaries of fishing activity for UK commercial fishing vessels of 15m and over in length that are deemed to have been fishing within a specified calendar year. These summaries have been categorised into aggregated gear groups that have relevance to their potential impact on the seabed, environment, or biota. Positional data have been extracted from GPS-derived Vessel Monitoring Data. At the highest resolution, = 0.05 degree sub-rectangle, the following data items are provided aggregated between vessels using each of these gear types separately: Boat dredges, traps (not specified), pots, gillnets and entangling nets (not specified), gillnets (not specified), driftnets, set gillnets (anchored), trammel nets, hand fishing, mechanized dredges, hand lines and pole-lines (hand-operated), long lines (not specified), set long lines, hooks and lines (not specified), otter trawls (not specified), otter trawls – bottom, otter trawls – midwater, otter twin trawls, with purse lines (purse seines), pair trawls – bottom, pair trawls – midwater, Danish seines, pair seines, Scottish seines, seine nets not elsewhere specified, beam trawls, nephrops trawls, midwater trawls not elsewhere specified, shrimp trawls – midwater, other trawls not specified): 1. For internal requests for information only, the number of >=15m vessels involved using each gear type, 2. Time fishing (minutes), 3. From 2011 data onwards, effort in KW Hours (calculated by multiplying the time associated with each VMS report in hours by the engine power of the vessel concerned at the time of the activity) 4. Quantity (tonnes) of live weight fish landed with gear type, 5. Value (sterling) of live weight fish landed with gear type’’                                                         
  3. We’re in the final stages of quality checking both the 2018 and 2019 fishing activity data and they should be uploaded to the DSP portal very soon.

Hope this helps 

Data Services Platform team //
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