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NFFO voices concerns over e-logs

10 Apr 2013

The UK’s National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) held a meeting recently to discuss a range of problems with introducing electronic logbooks.

A number of shortcomings were identified which the NFFO says have increased the burden on skippers of completing and submitting logbooks. Some, the organisation admits, are teething troubles which are likely to be resolved, but says others require more fundamental change.

It was agreed that the transition to e-logs had created problems in monitoring UK uptake of quota and effort, as well as imposing additional burdens on skippers. As both Government and the industry have a deep interest in accurate and timely catch recording it is important that these are resolved as quickly as possible.

The NFFO reaffirmed its view that the UK should take advantage of the available EU derogation to exempt day-boats and vessels which operate exclusively within UK limits, from the obligation to move from paper logbooks - at very least until the problem areas are resolved for the larger vessels.

The safety issue relates to the pressure on day boats obliged to complete their e-logs before landing when steaming for harbour along with up to 40 other vessels, when absolute navigational vigilance is required.

It was agreed to set up a users-group to channel industry concerns into the MMO and to oversee port trouble-shooters who would help to resolve a range of problems at vessel level. Meanwhile, the MMO was dealing with more systemic problems by better training and increased staff at the UK Call Centre.