MP to MMO Chair Follow up


Royston Smith MP responds to Hilary Florek requesting a more detailed response

Date: 23rd May 2023

Dear Ms Florek
Thank you for your further response regarding Mr Glover’s case and the decisions taken by MMO following independent testing of Inshore Vessel Monitoring System (I-VMS) devices.
I note the following statement from the MMO, dated 18 May 2023: 

Four devices were Type Approved in 2021 after suppliers provided evidence of their specification. However last year, following feedback, MMO acted and commissioned independent assurance testing on all four devices to provide assurance. Fishers were advised to wait until the results of this additional testing before choosing and purchasingt heir I-VMS device.

This independent testing is now complete, and two of the devices have failed the assurance process. Type Approval status will therefore be revoked from Maritime Systems Ltd MS44 device and from the Satlink Nano as they have been shown to not meet the original Type Approved specifications set out by MMO. […] The remaining two devices, Fulcrum Nemo and Succorfish SC2, will remain Type Approved following minor fixes and further review.

MMO has also taken the decision to temporarily pause the I-VMS roll-out while it works with suppliers and fishers in resolving the issues raised.

Following the outcome of the independent tests and MMO’s decision to revoke the Maritime Systems Ltd MS44 device alongside the Satlink Nano device, I do have some additional follow-up questions please:


1. What are the differences between the technical specifications required for I-VMS devices that were approved in 2021 and those that were recently tested?
2. Have the required technical specifications changed since approval? If so, why?
3. Have the suppliers changed the technical specifications of the devices since approval? If so, what reasons were given for the changes? Was the MMO informed of any changes to the devices since Type Approval?
4. Were any routine quality assurance checks scheduled when MMO Type Approved the four devices in 2021?
5. On what grounds had MMO allowed the installation of the devices onto fishing vessels in the first place?
6. What risk assessment had MMO carried out regarding the potential event of Type Approved I-VMS devices subsequently falling short of technical specifications?
7. What cost does the MMO anticipate to incur on a) owners of fishing vessels and b) taxpayers as a result of the temporarily pause of the I-VMS rollout?

Mr Glover’s business had supported jobs in my constituency. His work is in line with the Government’s Levelling Up ambitions to create jobs in post-industrial areas like Southampton. Given the investments from both public funds and Mr Glover’s private funding into the MS44 devices, would the MMO be willing to work with Mr Glover’s company to remedy issues with the MS44 device? What steps are the MMO prepared to take to improve Mr Glover’s MS44 device, so that they can continue to be used by fishing vessels?


I appreciate the MMO’s concerns about the standards of I-VMS devices and the impact that devices thatfail a certain standard have on fishing vessels. Mr Glover has written to me again and said that hiscompany is able to despatch its network of engineers and get adjustments to the MS44 devices made ina two-week period. He also highlights Maritime Systems’ record of installing 1000 devices last year,which appears to be a good indication that it can coordinate the adjustment work.

I do appreciate your suggestion of a call with senior leads within MMO. However, due to the complexity of Mr Glover’s case and the context surrounding it, I would be most grateful for a response in writing both for my records and so I could share it with Mr Glover please.

Best wishes
Royston Smith MP
Southampton Itchen

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