‘Easy-to-understand’ video launched ‘to support compliance’

A new video instructing Irish skippers on the correct use of electronic logbooks as part of the landing obligation has been criticised by the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (IS&WFPO).

The video, posted in late May on the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) website, is ‘confusing’ and would have benefited from prior consultation with the industry, IS&WFPO chief executive Patrick Murphy has said.

The SFPA said ‘the purpose of this training material is to offer clear, easy-to-understand information on the landing obligation requirements’.

“These include guidelines for compliance, landing obligation exemptions and storage provisions. The content is specifically tailored to assist the masters and crews of Irish fishing vessels in adhering to the landing obligation regulation.

“We are committed to ensuring the implementation of the landing obligation through education, inspection, control activities and through the promotion of compliance.

“To support compliance, we are publishing this training video so that industry has access to and understands current requirements, and we encourage all stakeholders to view it.”

Patrick Murphy cited instructions in relation to catches of Nephrops as one of several confusing aspects of the video. “It doesn’t even have a question and answer section, and you’d wonder about the money being spent on something that could have been so much better if fishermen were consulted beforehand,” he said.

The landing obligation training video can be accessed here.

Separately, the SFPA has published a data amendments form which allows the owner or skipper of a vessel to request to have data entries in their logbook reviewed and amended. A review can be requested if the data was incorrectly entered, it says.

“Such a review may be undertaken by the senior port officer of the vessel’s home port where the senior port officer deems this to be a genuine data entry error,” said the authority.

“The result of the data amendment review will be communicated to the vessel owner, who will receive notification via email to the vessel’s registered email address.

“The onus is on the vessel owner to notify the master at the time of the trip in question of the results of the data amendment review. Amendments should be completed within five days of port approval.

“Masters are reminded of their legal obligation to ensure the accuracy of data recorded in the vessel’s logbook.”

The SFPA points out, however, that the submission of a request for a review of logbook data, and any consequent amendment to the data, ‘does not absolve the master from liability for inaccurate data entries made’.

“The amendment of data is without prejudice to any inspection or enforcement actions, including, but not limited to, prosecution proceedings, relating to data entries made.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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