Islanders and visitors who want to dive for scallops can now apply for permits online – and make the most of the good weather forecast for the coming Bank Holiday weekend.
The new process is now in place for both recreational and commercial scallop divers and is one of a number ways in which government departments are improving their online engagement with Islanders. The IT infrastructure set up for scallop permits can now also be used for similar department projects.
Assistant Director of Marine Resources Mike Smith said: “The new online system lets divers obtain a 2014 permit at the push of a few buttons and then they can add to their diving experience by taking home a feed of scallops for their barbecue.”
The Marine Resources section of the Department of the Environment had asked people on their database for their views on changing the system. 97 per cent indicated they would like to apply for a permit online.
“When we asked people for their views the response was overwhelmingly in favour of introducing an online option. For members of the public, it reduces the time and trouble it takes to apply. For the Marine Resources section, it saves time that we can spend more usefully on patrol, doing monitoring work,” said Mr Smith.
In 2013 225 people applied for a licence to dive for scallops. Applicants had to complete a form and post it to the department. Then each application had to be manually processed and the permits made and posted to the applicant.
An additional change is that applicants no longer have to submit a photo with their application, and they can now input their catch totals online once a year when they apply for a new permit. The new online system also means that overseas visitors can apply online, ready for a trip to Jersey.
To apply for a permit online go to http://www.gov.je/Industry/FarmingFishing/Fishing/Pages/ScallopLicensing.aspx
Anyone who doesn’t have access to a computer or would prefer to use the paper based application process can visit Marine Resources at La Collette, or Howard Davis Farm to complete the current form and pay the permit fee.