Date lodged: 1 November 2016
To ask the Scottish Government how it will monitor the phased-in landing obligation requirements (a) overall and (b) for North Sea cod in 2017 to ensure that no illegal discarding or high grading is occurring, also broken down by the amount of (i) observer and (ii) electronic monitoring coverage it plans.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 11 November 2016
In Scottish waters responsibility for ensuring compliance with the Landing Obligation (LO) rests with Marine Scotland, working with Defra and the UK’s other Devolved Administrations to ensure compliance across the UK. After an advisory period, and for the vessels for which it is responsible, Marine Scotland will seek to ensure that fishing vessels comply with LO requirements while working at sea and on landing through inspections.
Fishing vessels are selected for inspection at sea using a risk-based and intelligence-led approach. Any illegal discarding or high grading discovered is dealt with in line with Marine Scotland’s compliance strategy. Marine Scotland Fishery Officers have received guidance and instruction on the LO, covering both pelagic and demersal fisheries. This guidance is updated in line with regulatory changes every year, and Fishery Officers monitor fish markets and landings.