Outgoing Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Carola Schouten does not oppose the compulsory installation of cameras on some fishing vessels to monitor fishing at sea. According to her, a majority of the 27 EU countries is signing up for the introduction of video surveillance, much to the discontent of the fishing industry.
The European Parliament believes that better rules should be introduced for the control of fishing catches. Fishing vessels that have been found to be in violation of catch quotas and circumvent the existing 'landing obligation', must install mandatory camera surveillance in their work spaces.
The European Parliament also believes that fishing vessels should be equipped with GPS to be able to permanently monitor their location. As with farm-to-table food, it must also be clear to consumers where fish comes from
The cameras can be used to check the quantities of fish that come out of the nets and whether small undersized fish are not secretly thrown back into the sea. According to researchers, the 'landing obligation' that has been in force for several years is still being circumvented on a large scale.
The discarding of undersized fish (which yields less money) was banned in 2016 by the introduction of the so-called landing obligation, but according to the official fisheries advisory body of the European Commission, it is still widespread.
MEP Peter van Dalen (ChristenUnie) called the camera light a completely wrong signal from the EU to the fishermen. It shows that fishermen are still mistrusted by most MEPs, ”said Van Dalen in a response.
CDA and SGP are disappointed about the impending measure. “This is a slap in the face for Dutch fishermen,” says MEP Annie Schreijer (CDA). The SGP speaks of a “witch hunt” and “Big Brother on board”.
Anja Hazekamp (Party for the Animals), on the other hand, calls better control of bycatch of vulnerable species not only in the interest of the fish populations, but ultimately also in the interest of the fishing industry itself.