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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Remote Electronic Monitoring. "It is difficult to manage anything if you don’t measure it."

Once upon a time fishermen were, in the main, reluctant to tell anyone what, how much and where they caught their fish. Some fishermen used their memory or kept simple fishing logs, some with more detail with entries including weather conditions and technical details of gear used. There was always a sense that knowledge is power and that meant the power to control rather than be in control. But now, times have changed and that information is now required by organisations like the MMO almost in real time for almost all the fleet.  Fishermen can now use the data they provide along with all the other data to help manage fisheries - especially when they need to argue that there is an abundance of fish where before there was though not to be - as in the case of haddock in ICES Area VII.

What Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) means: "It is difficult to manage anything if you don’t measure it." 

REM is gateway to sustainable fishing: Correct data for science, free choice of fishing method and selective fishing, no externality costs and reasured consumers. As of now Article 15 of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy prescribing all catches to be counted, landed and documented is not being enforced and we risk to lose all benefits.