Fully Documented Fishery (FDF) schemes have been run by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) since 2011 and the applications for 2020 is now open.
These schemes have demonstrated the effectiveness of Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) in reducing discards and encouraging more selective fishing behaviour.
The behaviour of vessels fitted with REM has also been compared to vessels fishing in the same areas, using the same gear types, and has shown differences in both catch composition and grading.
In addition, REM has proven to be a useful tool for gathering scientific data. The MMO has collaborated with the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences (Cefas) on exploring this use. The aims of the scheme for 2020 are to:
- Demonstrate how a Fully Documented Fishery can increase compliance with the Landing Obligation.
- Monitor catches of species subject to the Landing Obligation, including species below the minimum conservation reference size and discards.
- Understand the effectiveness of any technical measures introduced in 2020.
- Demonstrate the issues faced by vessels in complying with the landing obligation, and the difficulties it introduces.
In return for participation in this scheme, vessels will be able to access additional quota for North Sea stocks, however the species and quotas available have not been finalised.
The scheme will run from July 1st until 31st December 2020.
To apply, the vessel must be English-registered, and preferably a member of a Producer Organisation (PO), however, applications will also be considered from vessels in the non-sector. Where a vessel is new to the scheme, they will have to arrange for a suitable MMO approved REM system to fitted at their own expense. Vessels which wish to apply, must do so by Monday 22nd June 2020.
More information and application forms can be found on the North Sea Fully Documented Fishery (FDF) scheme pages.
Source: Marine Management Organisation