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Electronic recording and reporting of data and remote sensing

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The Regulation sets out obligations regarding the electronic recording and transmission of information on fishing activities. It specifies the relevance and authenticity of the data, provides for the phasing-in of electronic reports and stipulates how they are to be used. It also seeks to ensure that, from 1 January 2009, Member States will be using remote sensing equipment * to take effective action against illegal fishing and to protect fishing resources.

ACT

Council Regulation (EC) No 1966/2006 of 21 December 2006 on electronic recording and reporting of fishing activities and on means of remote sensing.

SUMMARY

This Regulation sets out the conditions for the electronic recording and reporting of fishing activities and for the introduction of remote sensing equipment. It seeks to guarantee the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fish stocks under the common fisheries policy (CFP).

Electronic recording and reporting

Masters of Community fishing vessels are to record information on fishing activities in a logbook and transmit that information, on a daily basis, to the competent authority of the Flag State.

Member States must have the necessary administrative and technical structures to enable them to receive, process, cross-check and transmit, by electronic means, the information sent by masters of Community fishing vessels or by their representatives.

That information, as specified by the common fisheries policy (CFP) control system, relates to:

  • catch landings or transhipments,
  • sales notes on the territory in which first marketing takes place,
  • take-over declarations for products not put up for sale or kept for sale at a later date.

These documents are subject to the provisions of national law.

The obligation to record and transmit information relating to fishing activities by electronic means will be phased in after the entry into force of the Regulation. It will apply:

  • within 24 months, to masters of fishing vessels exceeding 24 metres in length;
  • within 42 months, to masters of fishing vessels exceeding 15 metres in length;
  • no later than 12 months after the entry into force of the implementing rules, to masters of fishing vessels less than 15 metres in length, if so authorised or obliged by a Member State;
  • from 1 January 2009, to entities (auctions) or persons authorised by a Member State, having responsibility for the first sale of the products and with an annual turnover in excess of €400 000.

Remote sensing

Remote sensing is more cost-effective than the traditional means of combating illegal fishing.

As of 1 January 2009, Member States are to ensure that their Fisheries Monitoring Centres are equipped with a satellite vessel detection system (VDS) or equivalent.

Background

With a view to the sustainable exploitation of fish stocks, efforts are being made at international level to combat illegal fishing. The use of new technology and satellites is a major asset when it comes to monitoring fishing activities and ensuring that quotas are complied with. It is therefore an approach that is recommended by the UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) Committee on Fisheries.

Since 1992, the European Community has been promoting change in the form of a satellite vessel monitoring system (VMS). In 2003, it started a pilot project on the electronic transmission of information relating to fishing activities and on remote sensing (Regulation (EC) No 1461/2003). On 1 January 2005, the VMS became compulsory for vessels exceeding 15 metres in length (Regulation (EC) No 2244/2003). It has already saved Member States nearly €250 million in operating costs for fisheries monitoring.

Key terms used in the act
  • Remote sensing: the use, from a distance (e.g. from a plane, spacecraft, satellite or boat), of any kind of instrument for acquiring information on the environment.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into force – expiry dateDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1966/20066.1.2007-OJ L 409, 30.12.2006

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1566/2007 of 21 December 2007 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1966/2006 on electronic recording and reporting of fishing activities and on means of remote sensing [Official Journal L 340 of 22 December 2007].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1303/2007 of 5 November 2007 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1966/2006 on electronic recording and reporting of fishing activities and on means of remote sensing [Official Journal L 290 of 8 November 2007].

Last updated: 30.04.2008
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