The implementation of a Catch Recording App on behalf of the Marine Management Organisation in the UK has been estimated to cost £1.8m, so far.
The Catch Recording App is downloaded to a mobile device and is being brought into operation for under 10-metre commercial fishing vessels.
The cost of the App has been met with derision across the UK fishing community as the new rules for under 10-metre fishing boats is also being regarded as harsh and unnecessary with the Coastal PO calling it “Idiotic and Pointless.”
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Theresa Villers MP, was asked about the App during parliamentary questions by Luke Pollard, MP Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water).
He asked how much her Department has spent on the implementation of the new catch recording app for fishing vessels under 10 metres in length; and how future revisions and updates to that app will be funded?
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, MP answered “As the Catch Recording App is downloaded to a mobile device, implementation costs are considered to be negligible.
“The development and build costs associated with the app as of 31 October were £1.8 million. The European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) can be accessed to fund projects to support the ‘regulator’ and the ‘regulated’ to improve compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy Control Regulations.
“The app is substantively (90%, £1.6 million) funded by the EMFF, matched with Government funds (10%, £0.2 million). Any future revisions or updates to the app will also be funded from EMFF up to 31 December 2020, when this funding scheme ends.”
Controversial new regulations for under 10-metres fishing vessels in UK have been met with opposition.
The new rules states that “You must ensure that estimated weights that you have provides are within 10% of the actual weights you have landed. Failing to do this is a criminal offence and could lead to an enforcement action being taken against you.”
Weighing your catch at sea in an under 10m vessel is a highly difficult task and the Catch Recording App is being introduced to aid fishermen keep their catch within the permitted limits.
Small-scale fishermen believe that the 10% leeway is not enough and this regulation is too strict as boats under 10m get less than 2% of the quota, less than 15% of the catch and are 80% of the fleet.
It is feared that criminalisation of fishermen landing over the 10% allowance could drive thousands out of employment with the Coastal PO saying “All it does is create another pointless offence so they can persecute under 10m boats.”
Source: Oliver McBride