postpone reporting norwegian fishermen's

The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association demands that authorities postpone the introduction of electronic reporting system for vessels under 11m. Photo: Jan-Erik Indrestrand

The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association demands that the authorities postpone the introduction of electronic reporting system (ERS) for vessels under 11 metres.

In a letter to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries on Thursday 17 November, the Association point out that a postponement is necessary because the reporting is still not adapted to the operating and activity pattern in the smaller fleet, which is reflected in strong and justified dissatisfaction in the industry.  

“Unfortunately, the authorities have so far not shown sufficient willingness to understand what everyday life is like for fishermen/solo fishermen on board smaller vessels that must register and report a significant amount of information digitally under all kinds of weather and operating conditions,” says the Association.

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“The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association has warned against this from the very beginning, and recommended that you start simply, and rather, if necessary, require more registration and reporting if this proves necessary and when the fishermen have gained more experience and feel safe and comfortable with the system.”

The Association says that for many in the fleet the demands put on them is hard to live up to and is destroying moral amongst the small boat fleet.

“As this matter now stands, many of our members express that it is not possible to comply with the new reporting system, we point out in the letter, which you can read in its entirety below.

“It is also a danger signal when our members say that this case is about to destroy the motivation and well-being of being a fisherman on small boats and having the sea as a workplace.

“The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association considers this very serious, and this is behind us when we demand that our political authorities postpone the planned introduction of new vessel groups, under 11 metres, until further notice.”

The Association says that the reporting rules are too complicated, especially for the older boat owners and claim the there needs to be a simplification for those boats in the 11-15 metre range.

“We also expect simplifications to be made in the reporting for vessels between 11-15 metres, as the Fishery Association has already proposed, and that an evaluation of experiences in this group will then be carried out before new vessel groups are covered by electronic reporting.

“The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association believes that simplified reporting still fulfils the purpose of control, while this will also give research and management increased knowledge about coastal stocks.”

The Association say they have been open to ongoing dialogue and new thinking. The say:

“Norway’s Fishermen’s Association has had extensive and close follow-up of the issue of tracking and reporting from day one.

“We have participated in the ongoing process and had repeated meeting points with the administration and political leadership on the matter.

“No later than today, 17 November, we had a meeting at administrative level with the Ministry of Trade and Fisheries.

“In the letter, we have asked for a new meeting about the matter with the political leadership and have already received confirmation that we will have a meeting with the minister about the matter on 12 December.”

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Postpone new reporting requirements demands Norwegian Fishermen’s Association

by editor time to read: 6 min