New UK Fishing Vessel Certifying Authority appointed by MCA


The Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) has appointed a new Fishing Vessel Certifying Authority for commercially registered fishing vessels in the UK. The Society of Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors (SCMS) – which is presided over by Mr Allan Larsen, the Managing Director and Principal Surveyor at Larsen’s Marine Surveyors and Consultants Ltd, based in Grimsby – will launch the new service in July and is excited to be expanding its portfolio of technical marine services. As a non-profit organisation, the SCMS will now be able to provide the fishing vessel industry with the cost-effective and highly efficient levels of service it is renowned for.

The SCMS is already a Certifying Authority under the MCA for small craft and workboats and has a number of surveyors who were authorised by the previous Fishing Vessel Certifying Authority – SEAFISH – to undertake such surveys on their behalf. As such, the SCMS is already extremely knowledgeable about the fishing vessel industry. This means that the transition will be smooth and yards and fishing vessel owners will retain the high levels of service to which they have already become accustomed.

“Richard Blackhurst, previously Head of Survey at SEAFISH, will head-up this new service for us,” explains, SCMS President Allan Larsen, “and he will be supported by a number of skilled surveyors from around the country as well as our existing office staff based in Southampton. We are delighted to have him on-board as he is a well-known and respected figure within the fishing industry.

“Richard will be working with both individual owners and boat yards that have newly built or pre-registered vessels and looking to operate them for commercial fishing purposes,” continues Mr Larsen. “Under UK law, it is a legal requirement that every fishing vessel has a coding certificate. Owners or builders can now get in touch with the SCMS and we can advise which surveys are required at each stage of the build. The certification work that we then undertake will validate that a build has been completed in accordance with the applicable codes and regulations. The MCA will then take over the coding aspect of the vessel.”

Since inception in 1920, the SCMS has achieved an enviable reputation as a highly professional organisation in which Consulting Marine Engineers, Naval Architects and Ship Surveyors are able to offer clients a comprehensive range of technical marine services, all supported by proven academic and practical capabilities derived from extensive experience within the industry. To learn more about the SCMS or to apply for a Fishing Vessel Certification, visit


Notes to editors:

The SCMS will be an MCA Fishing Vessel Certifying Authority able to carry out the following services:

  • New-build surveys of new fishing vessels of less than 12m RL
  • Pre-registration surveys for fishing vessels <24m RL
  • Stability for new fishing vessels <12m RL
  • Tonnage measurement for fishing vessels <24m RL