Regulation 9(2)(b) of the Merchant Shipping (Registry, Lettering and Numbering of Fishing Boats) Regulations, 1997, provides for the allocation to vessels of distinguishing letters and a number. This is part of the registration process. In practice, the allocation is made by the local registrar for a port of registry on receipt of an application for registration on the fishing boat register of a vessel licensed under section 222B of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act, 1959. The distinguishing letters and number are allocated before the vessel is finally entered on the fishing boat register.
In several cases it has not been possible to finally complete the registration process pending resolution of outstanding matters. Primarily, the delays have arisen because of unresolved issues under negotiation with the EU Commission. These relate to the overall capacity objectives of the Irish pelagic segment and outstanding applications for safety capacity credits. Issues to be finalised with some individual vessel owners in relation to delivery of replacement capacity have also contributed to delays in the final registration process. My Department is working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.