Ulrich, Olesen, Bergsson, Egekvist, Hakansson, Dalskov, Kindt-Larsen, Storr-Paulsen; ICES Journal of Marine Science, 72: 1848–1860
Denmark was the first nation in Europe to promote the use of Fully Documented Fisheries (FDF) through Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) and CCTV camera systems, with pilot schemes in place since 2008. In theory, such a scheme could supplement and even potentially replace expensive control and monitoring programmes; and when associated with a catch quota management (CQM) system, incentivize positive changes in fishing patterns in a results-based management approach. New data flows are, however, required to ensure the practical implementation of such a scheme. This paper reviews the quality of the FDF data collected during 2008–2014 and their potential in strengthening information on cod discards. The analyses demonstrate the improved reporting of discards in logbooks and overall discard reductions, but they also show that some uncertainties around the absolute estimates of discard quantities have remained. Regular validation of weight estimation methods and close collaboration between scientific monitoring and control are important to support the use of reported discards as a reliable source of information. We discuss the potential of electronic monitoring in the context of the EU landing obligation.