Fishermen angry at new EU onboard camera rule

Photo: Joachim Müllerchen/ Wikipedia
Photo: Joachim Müllerchen/ Wikipedia

The Dutch union of fishermen Nederlandse Vissersbond has said it is ‘shocked’ by the decision of the European parliament to make CCTV cameras compulsory onboard trawlers to prevent the practice of throwing away undersized fish and overfishing.

The union said cameras to check the so-called landing obligation, which requires all catches to be counted against quota, are not the right tool to tackle the problem of discards.

‘What we need is more selective fishing, and to do that we don’t need checks on rules which were unworkable from the start but investigation and innovation,’ union spokesman Durk van Tuinen said.

The union said an requirement to install cameras would put an unreasonable financial burden on a sector which is already in trouble because of the ban on pulse fishing, the Brexit fall out and the loss of fishing grounds as a result of wind turbine parks and new nature reserves.

The landing requirement was introduced in 2016 to promote selective fishing and prevent fishermen dumping undersized or fish that exceed the quota back into the sea either dead or alive. The total amount of discarded fish in the North Sea alone has been estimated at between 800,000 and 950,000 tonnes a year.  

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