The Icelandic Direcorate of Fisheries has responded to criticism of their monitoring of fishing vessels

The Icelandic Direcorate of Fisheries has responded to criticism of their monitoring of fishing vessels. Photo: Sigtryggur Ari

The Directorate of Fisheries’ website has responed to criticism of the Agency’s use of drones, or aircraft, for monitoring fisheries in Iceland, and claims that such use is in accordance with the Data Protection Act in Iceland and in accordance with guidelines from the Data Protection Authority.

The National Association of Small Boat Owners has harshly criticized the surveillance method and says that non-discrimination is not observed in camera surveillance, nor is the principle of proportionality applied. LS reserves the right to apply to the Data Protection Authority for this new method of the Directorate of Fisheries.

The announcement from the Directorate of Fisheries traces the reason and background to the drone use. It is also stated that the equipment is always controlled by a fishing inspector who is present and sees the footage from the drone’s camera in live stream.

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“On the one hand, there is real-time monitoring where footage is not collected and, on the other hand, the collection of footage in cases where there is a suspicion of deviations from laws and regulations. Recording is therefore not activated except in cases where the inspector has seen a violation.“

According to the instructions of the Data Protection Authority

The processing of footage is carried out in accordance with current rules and instructions from the Data Protection Authority. 

It is also stated that the Directorate of Fisheries carried out an assessment of the impact of the processing on privacy before the use of drones began and considered the risk to be low. Inspectors had then been instructed on personal data protection and the Data Protection Authority had been contacted regarding the use of drones. 

“The Directorate of Fisheries is required by law to monitor the implementation of the law on fisheries management and to monitor fisheries. With this in mind, the Data Protection Authority was of the opinion that the Directorate of Fisheries ‘processing of information on criminal offenses in the manner described in the Directorate of Fisheries’ submission to the Data Protection Authority falls within the statutory role of the Agency. In other respects, the Data Protection Authority did not make any further comments to the Directorate of Fisheries on the matter at this time, “says the Directorate of Fisheries’ website.

The Directorate of Fisheries also received references from the skipper regarding the discussion on drone surveillance:

That word goes from the Directorate of Fisheries that drones they want to exploit.

Then all halibut kills can be solved and also watching people shit.