Small-scale fisheries are critical in supporting the livelihoods of coastal communities and play an important role in sustainable development, but they are not necessarily a synonym for low impact fisheries. Their operations need to be properly assessed, monitored and controlled to guarantee that their impacts are accurately accounted for, especially as 89% of the total EU fleet currently does not have a vessel monitoring system on board and they are responsible for at least 23% of EU catches.
We therefore appeal for the revised Control Regulation to extend the use of vessel position data systems to small-scale fishing activities, as proposed by the EP rapporteur and the European Commission. These devices are small, cost-effective, improve fishers’ safety as they help locate fishers in case of need and do not interfere with the safe operation of the vessels and gears. In addition, we urge support for introducing a completely electronic fishing logbook to record small-scale vessel operations.