REM – Remote Electronic Monitoring in fisheries

Strict rules on fishing gear, area closures, registration of catches and management of bycatch are an important feature of a modern fisheries management systems. The objective of fisheries control, inspection and enforcement is to ensure that all fishing activities are carried out in accordance with relevant fisheries management rules. The effectiveness of fisheries control, inspection and enforcement is therefore of vital importance.

The main focus of discussion on fisheries control in the Nordic countries has in recent years been on management of bycatch. The European Union has been gradually implementing a Landing Obligation within the CFP that was supposed to be in full effect in beginning of year 2019. This has led to a discussion on the cost and benefits of REM (Remote Electronic Monitoring) on-board fishing vessels and in harbours. A much similar discussion has taken place in those Nordic countries that are not members of the European Union. In Iceland for example a draft legal bill on increased digital surveillance was presented for consultation online in July 2018, which catalysed a lively debate on the pros and cons of REM. There is also already experience in countries such as Chile, Canada, US, New Zealand and Australia in implementation of electronic monitoring; in addition to interesting trials on FDF (Fully Documented Fisheries) that have taken place in Denmark and Scotland in recent years. 

The Nordic council of Ministers (AG fisk / working group for fisheries) recognises the need to further disseminate and discuss state-of-art, as well as pros and cons of REM around the world and potential application in Nordic countries. AG fisk has therefore funded a Networking project that is to facilitate a conference on this subject, which will be a part of the Icelandic Fisheries Conference on November 7th 2019 (  Preliminary agenda for the conference is as follows:

13:00 – 13:20            Global overview of REM in fisheries – Jónas R. Viðarsson (Matís)

13:20 – 13:40            Available technical solutions for REM – Leifur Magnússon (Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries)

13:40 – 14:00            Fully documented fisheries trials in Denmark – Kristian Schreiber Plet hansen (DTU)

14:00 – 14:20            Electronic monitoring in Norwegian fisheries – Thord Monsen (Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries)

14:20 – 14:40            Experience from the implementation of camera surveillance in Chile – Luis Cocas (Ministry of fisheries in Chile)

14:45-15:15 Coffee break

15:15 – 15:35            Experience of fishermen operating within a fully documented fishery using camera surveillance –  Wes Erikson (Fourth Generation Fishing Co. Ltd., British Columbia, Canada)

15:35 – 15:55            Scottish REM trials – Helen Holah (Marine Scotland)

15:55 – 16:15            The EU landing obligation and REM – Clara Ulrich (IFREMER & STECF)

16:15 – 17:00            Panel discussions

This webpage will be used to share information on REM in the contest of the conference, providing background information for preparation of the event.

The organising committee for the conference and responsability for the overall project includes the following persons:

  • Jónas R. Viðarsson – Matís Iceland (chair)
  • Leifur Magnússon – Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries
  • Ásta Guðmundsdóttir – Icelandic Marine & Freshwater Research Institute
  • Mogens Schou – Aquamind, Denmark
  • Kristian Schreiber Plet hansen – DTU aqua, Denmark
  • Thord Monsen – Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries
  • Áslaug Eir Hólmgeirsdóttir – Icelandic Directorate of Fisheries