Date lodged: 29 May 2018
To ask the Scottish Government whether it considers that the existing vessel monitoring system is suitable to determine whether fishing vessels are fishing illegally within restricted parts of marine protected areas.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 7 June 2018
Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 requires that all fishing vessels that are 12 metres overall length or more are required to have a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) fitted. This allows a vessel to be automatically located and identified by transmitting position data at regular intervals. The existing system in use on Scottish fishing vessels meets these requirements.
However, there is no requirement for a VMS to be fitted to fishing vessels under 12 metres in length and therefore currently no way to automatically determine the location of such a vessel and whether or not it is within a restricted part of a Marine Protected Area.