The UK government has announced a package of new technologies are to be deployed on fishing vessels from this summer to help tackle the risk of over-fishing.

Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) technologies involving camera, gear sensors, and GPS units are to be deployed to make sure catches are accurately recorded and fish are not unlawfully discarded.  Volunteers in five fisheries are to pioneer the use of REM technologies. Trials have been underway elsewhere; for example, the Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (D&S IFCA) have been offering fishing boat owners the opportunity to take part in its trials of REM on board mobile fishing gear vessels. D&S IFCA has already been trialling the REM technology on board one scallop vessel since 2021.



The Government said that once monitoring objectives have been finalised and the REM systems are demonstrated to be working well, the systems will become mandatory for all vessels in those fisheries – including non-UK vessels.

Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer said: “Leaving the EU has given us the opportunity to take a new approach to fisheries management that is in the best interests of the UK fishing industry.

By harnessing this technology, we can sustainably manage our fish stocks, to benefit the industry, future generations, and our marine environment.”

Managing discards

The Government also announced a different approach to managing discards, which will be adopted in England, with changes to be made to better account for catches. From 2025, landings and discards will both be counted against quota allocations, and the amount of quota used to cover discards will vary and will depend on the type of vessel and gear types used.

In addition to this, discard reduction schemes will be established to identify ways to reduce unwanted catch in the first instance. Working collaboratively with regulators and the industry, the schemes will identify and resolve barriers to improved gears being used.

Fishers will start to see both approaches implemented at the start of next year.

Further information:  

The remote electronic monitoring consultation response can be read here and the discards reform consultation response here.

No Comment

Comments are closed.