Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) on Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM)
Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) relates to the use of imagery, sensors, and Global Positioning System (GPS) to independently monitor fishing operations, effort, and/or catch. In this paper we explore the impact of such a proposal as it specifically applies to two fleet segments – pelagic trawl and scallop dredge vessels.
This assessment is being undertaken alongside a public consultation on the usage of REM, and further information will be sought there regarding information on the fleet segments listed above, and a generalised overview of REM itself. The consultation also asks for views regarding broader rollout of REM to additional fleet segments in the future. However, given this is still at a very early stage of development a separate BRIA has not yet been produced.
As outlined in the below, government intervention has been deemed appropriate primarily to improve monitoring of fishing vessels at sea – themselves in breach of existing fisheries legislation, but which can be difficult to detect using existing enforcement methods. The introduction of the REM requirement also has additional scientific and reputational benefits – both of which can be explored in further detail in the below and in the public consultation document.
The specific costs of REM systems, regardless of fishing fleet segment, are difficult to quantify, as no specific cost assessment has been carried out as applicable to the Scottish fleet, beyond the breakdown indicated in the below documents. With that in mind, we have presented as much information as possible, asking in the public consultation whether respondents foresee any barriers to vessels meeting the costs of REM systems themselves.
Regarding businesses which will be impacted by this policy, the most obvious businesses will be the fishing vessels themselves; but also the supply chain associated with REM hardware and software, and the Scottish Government itself. As explored in more detail below, competition considerations vary between fleet segments owing to differences in how the systems are procured and paid for.
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