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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09929: Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 23 June 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the use of Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) to help monitor compliance with the landing obligation.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 26 June 2017

As one of Europe’s leading fishing nations, we have every reason to stop the wasteful practice of fish being dumped if it can be landed instead. Whilst we continue to work with other Member States to find the right solutions to “choke species” which may occur under the landing obligation, we have also insisted to our EU partners that there must be a level playing field which ensures effective monitoring and control of the discard ban.

For large scale, directed pelagic fisheries, control experts from Scotland and elsewhere in the EU have advised that monitoring can best be achieved with the use of cameras and sensors, more commonly referred to as Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM). The Scottish Government agrees with this recommendation and we would be content to see cameras installed where appropriate on all relevant vessels fishing in EU waters.

For some sections of the demersal fleet a similar approach may apply, although this should be contingent on solutions to “choke species” being in place.