Tools and Technologies for the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance of Unwanted Catches

  • Kelly M. James
  • Neill Campbell
  • Jónas R. Viðarsson
  • Carlos Vilas
  • Kristian S. Plet-Hansen
  • Lisa Borges
  • Óscar González
  • Aloysius T. M. van Helmond
  • Ricardo I. Pérez-Martín
  • Luis Taboada Antelo
  • Jorge Pérez-Bouzada
  • Clara UlrichEmail author


A key requirement for the successful implementation of the Landing Obligation is the need to monitor and regulate unwanted catches at sea. This issue is particularly challenging because of the large number of vessels and trips that need to be monitored and the remoteness of vessels at sea. Several options exist in theory, ranging from patrol vessels to onboard observers and self-sampling. Increasingly though, technology is developing to provide remote Electronic Monitoring (EM) with cameras at lower costs. This chapter first provides an overall synthesis of the pro’s and con’s of several monitoring tools and technologies. Four EM technologies already trialled in EU fisheries are then summarised. We conclude that it is now possible to conduct reliable and cost-effective monitoring of unwanted catches at sea, especially if various options are used in combination. However, effective monitoring is a necessary condition for the successful implementation of the Landing Obligation but insufficient unless it is implemented with a high level of coverage and with the support of the fishing industry.


Compliance Electronic Monitoring Observers Unreported discards Video 



This chapter is largely based on work carried out in the DiscardLess project and the Life iSEAS project. The DiscardLess project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement DiscardLess No 633680. The Life iSEAS project has been co-funded under the LIFE+Environment Program of the European Union (LIFE13 ENV/ES/000131). This support is gratefully acknowledged. Authors also want to thank Ms. Esther Abad, Mr. Xesºs Morales, Ms. Marta QuinzÃn and Mr. Julio Valeiras for their contribution to the development of the iObserver.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly M. James
    • 1
  • Neill Campbell
    • 1
  • Jónas R. Viðarsson
    • 2
  • Carlos Vilas
    • 3
  • Kristian S. Plet-Hansen
    • 4
  • Lisa Borges
    • 7
  • Óscar González
    • 5
  • Aloysius T. M. van Helmond
    • 6
  • Ricardo I. Pérez-Martín
    • 3
  • Luis Taboada Antelo
    • 3
  • Jorge Pérez-Bouzada
    • 5
  • Clara Ulrich
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Marine Scotland ScienceAberdeenUK
  2. 2.Matís ohf. Icelandic food and biotech R&DReykjavíkIceland
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigacións Mariñas (IIM CSIC)VigoSpain
  4. 4.DTU Aqua, Technical University of DenmarkKgs LyngbyDenmark
  5. 5.Marine InstrumentsNigránSpain
  6. 6.Wageningen Marine Research URIjmuidenThe Netherlands
  7. 7.FishFixBrusselsBelgium

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