ELECTRONIC RECORDING AND REPORTING OF
FISHING ACTIVITIES (14181/04)
Letter from Ben Bradshaw MP, Minister
for Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare, Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the Chairman
Your letter of 26 January 2005,
setting out your Committee's findings on Explanatory Memorandum
14181/04 on a proposal for a Council Regulation on electronic
recording and reporting of fishing activities and on other means
of remote sensing, asked to be kept informed of developments.
In October 2005 the Commission prepared a non-paper
which set out their thinking on the subject and also the basis
for their assumption in regard to possible costs of an electronic
recording system. The paper was based on the results of a questionnaire
sent to Member States asking for their opinions in relation to
electronic logbooks and further brief discussion at other meetings
with Member States. Representatives from several Member States
encouraged the Commission to prepare a detailed proposal to assist
further discussion. This has yet to be issued. A summary of the
Commission paper is enclosed for your information. The draft agenda
for the April Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting shows
that this item is due for discussion and vote. We await the Presidency
compromise text, I hope this is helpful and I will ensure that
the Committee is kept informed of any further developments or
22 February 2006
SUMMARY OF COMMISSION NON-PAPER ON ELECTRONIC
RECORDING SYSTEMS AND REMOTE SENSING
Frequency of transmissions
Daily transmissions for data but
with a provision for Member States to be allowed to request more
frequent transmissions if it wished, provided that data was gathered
on a daily basis.
The information to be collected would
not go further than that currently required in the paper logbook.
However restrictions would not be placed on Member States to request
further data especially if that information were to allow industry
to manage all required data for control and avoid duplication
between a computerised procedure for catch data and the persistence
of paper documents for others.
The E-logbook should also cover data
which was not covered by the original logbook but which is now
been made mandatory by various texts, especially for effort data
or stock recovery plans.
Access to data by control Authorities
Daily transmission of catch data
to the FMCs offers advantages over a system where the logbook
is seen to be held on the vessel, as it could allow FMCs to share
relevant data with inspectors (own and other Member States) to
ensure more targeted inspection and more accurate or "unchallengeable"
data to be available.
Receipt messages (a message back
to the vessel to show that a catch report has been received and
read by the FMC) would offer a practical and simple solution to
protecting data against tampering risks.
Setting up cost to FMCs
Capital costs of servers are thought
to be around 130,000 and software costs around 400,000.
Due to current requirements to record logbook, landing declaration
and sales note data along with VMS data, it was acknowledged that
some Member States would not incur the full costs outlined above.
Setting up cost to industry
Fishing vessels that already had
on-board PCs integrated into communication systems may not incur
any additional costs for hardware. For those without suitable
equipment, costs in the region of 1,500-2,000 were
foreseen. Software costs were thought to be around 1,000
Transmission costs to industry are
estimated to be in the region of 1.70-3 per message
(dependant on communication provider used). Annual transmission
costs for vessels fishing for 250 days per year should amount
to between 425 and 750. Costs to Authorities for sending
return messages would vary according to the size of their fleet
and communication provider used.
Letter from the Chairman to Ben Bradshaw
Thank you for your letter of 22 February, and
attached summary of the Commission non-paper on the proposed Regulation,
which Sub-Committee D considered at its meeting on 15 March.
We were disappointed at the apparent lack of
progress made by the Commission in preparing a detailed proposal
as a basis for further discussion. We would be grateful if you
could continue to keep us informed of any developments in this
area as and when they occur. In the meantime the Committee agreed
to retain the proposal under scrutiny.
17 March 2006
Letter from Ben Bradshaw MP to the Chairman
Further to your letter of 17 March I would like
to bring you up to date with progress on this dossier.
I have now received a copy of the latest compromise
text prepared by the Austrian Presidency and enclose a copy for
your information (not printed). There are three clear aspects
to the proposals:
electronic recording of information
currently required to be recorded in paper logbooks, landing declarations
and transhipment declarations;
electronic recording and submission
of sales note data by those involved in the sale and purchase
of first sale fish; and
use of remote sensing of fishing
vessels by Member States.
I am broadly supportive of these measures which
will help to improve compliance and offer opportunities to reduce
administrative burdens on industry. The Committee commented on
their disappointment at the apparent lack of progress made by
the Commission in preparing detailed proposals as a basis for
further discussion. As you will see, the revised proposal still
contains no details of what the systems must/should do, it simply
provides the obligation on Member States to use electronic recording
systems for fishing activity. Detailed implementing rules will
be agreed subsequently by Management Committee procedure. The
UK's main point of concern with this text has been with the implementation
date, set in Article lc at six months after the detailed implementing
rules have been agreed. We and several other Member States do
not believe that this would allow sufficient time for the necessary
hardware and software to be installed, both on board fishing vessels
and in administrations' Monitoring Centres, and have pressed for
this to be extended to 12 months.
Further discussion of this proposal has not
been possible in Fisheries Council but I understand that it is
now the intention to have the proposal adopted as an A point before
the summer. I will keep you informed of any further information
provided by either the Commission or the Council.
14 June 2006
Letter from the Chairman to Ben Bradshaw
Thank you for your letter dated 14 June which
Sub-Committee D (Environment and Agriculture) considered at its
meeting on 5 July.
The Committee notes the Government's concern
regarding the development of this proposal and the concerns expressed
that the lead time for implementing the new arrangements may be
insufficient. The Committee does however support the introduction
of electronic recording and reporting of fishing activity and
is content to clear the proposal.
We ask that you will ensure that the Committee
is informed of progress in advance of the relevant Council meeting.
10 July 2006
78 Correspondence with Ministers, 4th Report of Session
2005-06, HL Paper 16, p 202. Back