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7th April 14

Marine Licensing - new guidelines for divers in England

BSAC, acting as the National Governing Body for Scuba diving and working with SAA and PADI, has been negotiating on behalf of all divers and diver training agencies with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) with respect to the interpretation of the legal requirements for divers under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (MCAA).

After lengthy consultation, a set of guidelines for all divers diving in English waters has now been agreed. These guidelines enable divers to go about their standard normal diving and training activities without a requirement for a licence and divers can use the guidelines to ensure that they remain within the law.

Activities that do not require a licence include:

  • Deploying and recovering temporary shot lines for divers
  • Using delayed or permanently inflated SMBs
  • Using a lifting bag to recover items which have been underwater for less than 12 months
  • Conducting surveys of shipwrecks by hand
  • Using lifting bags for underwater litterpicks.

For other certain activities, the MMO still requires either prior notification or an application for a licence; the MMO can be consulted for guidance in these cases. Similar guidance will be available in due course for Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish waters.

All diver-training agencies active in England encourage their instructors, members and divers to abide by them.

For further guidance please refer to the Marine Licensing: Guidance for Recreational Divers information sheet.

FOR ALL ADDITIONAL QUERIES OR QUESTIONS REGARDING THESE NEW GUIDELINES, PLEASE CONTACT THE MARINE MANAGEMENT ORGANISATION (MMO) DIRECT:

Telephone 0300 123 1032 or email marine.consents@marinemanagement.org.uk

This joint agency update has been issued by:

  • British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC)
  • Global Underwater Explorers (GUE)
  • Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
  • Professional Scuba Association International (PSAI)
  • Scuba Schools International (SSI)
  • Sub Aqua Association (SAA)
  • Scuba Diving International; Technical Diving International (TDI, SDI)