Fishers needed to take part in pilot monitoring project

April 17th, 2023 11:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

The trawler the Atlantic Quest owned by Aidan and Susan O Callaghan arriving into Castletownbere recently. Volunteer vessels are needed by the SFPA for a new project. (Photo: Anne Marie Cronin)

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THE Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) is seeking a number of Irish registered fishing vessels to participate in a remote electronic monitoring (REM) pilot project.  

REM is a technology that allows for the remote monitoring of fishing vessels, providing valuable information on fishing activity and compliance with regulative requirements, including the landing obligation. 

SFPA executive chairperson Paschal Hayes said they believe that this technology has the potential to bring significant benefits to the Irish fishing industry and in assisting the SFPA to fulfil its control and enforcement mandate for all fishing vessels operating in Ireland’s EEZ. 

‘Efforts by SFPA personnel to secure volunteer fishing vessels to participate in the REM pilot project have, to date, proved unsuccessful. Therefore, we are seeking the advocacy of Ireland’s fishery producer organisations to encourage a small number of Irish registered fishing vessels to participate in the REM pilot project. The SFPA wishes to work with the Irish fishing industry to manage the introduction of REM, and to explore its potential benefits as well as address any concerns through the pilot project,’ he explained.

 The legislative introduction of REM in fisheries control at European level is nearing certainty, having passed through the initial consultative stage, through the European Parliament and back for final consultations, he said.

‘Furthermore, there has been work in the UK and Scotland to mandate the use of REM for some areas and some fisheries, which may impact Irish fishers. Therefore, we feel it is important that we gain real and meaningful experience of REM and put ourselves in a position where both the SFPA and the Irish fishing industry can guide and advise on the technicalities of REM, its introduction and uses. Ireland holds the largest stake in the NWW, and gaining experience of REM is, we feel, of significant importance for our fishing industry.’ 

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