Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) is nearing completion of its roll-out of a major new IT system designed to support increased compliance with sea-fisheries regulations. VALID, a fully automated crosscheck system, will automatically verify data, including in real time.

VALID has been developed for the SFPA and the Defence Force’s Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM) Information Management Team within the current Integrated Fisheries Information System (IFIS). SFPA and FMC can now automatically cross-check data information provided in the electronic logbooks by the vessel Master, the vessel’s electronic monitoring system (VMS) as well as information provided by buyers on sales notes allowing immediate identification of inconsistencies, errors and missing information.

Dr Susan Steele, Chair of the SFPA stated that the benefits of VALID will be felt across the fishing industry. “The majority of fishermen and buyers are compliant with the regulations, filling out their logbooks and sales notes correctly. The automated system is enabling us to gather better information on where there is a risk of non-compliance with fishing regulations, thereby allowing us to target our resources at those vessels and fishing activities that have a higher risk of non-compliance. Going forward VALID will aid us as we work to deter and detect any future illegal fishing violations,” said Dr Steele.

The system will make it easier to identify vessels with a higher risk of non-compliance, enabling the SFPA and its control partners, the Naval Service and the Air Corps, to focus resources on vessels and fishing activity requiring more targeted inspections. The new system applies to all Irish vessels fitted with an electronic recording and reporting system (ERS).

The following is a list of all the cross-checks undertaken automatically:

  • Vessel FAR position V Vessel VMS position (active gear)

  • Vessel FAR position V Vessel VMS position (passive gear)

  • LAN (Landing Declaration) port V PNO (Prior Notification of Arrival) port

  • LAN (Landing Declaration) species V Logbook species

  • LAN (Landing Declaration) quantity V Logbook quantity.

  • LAN species V sales notes species

  • Sales notes quantity V LAN quantity

  • RTP (time declared) V PNO (time declared) (If RTP time is earlier than the PNO time).

  • LAN (Landing Declaration) port V RTP (Return to Port).

  • Authorisation Crosscheck for all Pelagic Fisheries (Minus exceptional areas).

  • Authorisation Crosscheck for statistical rectangles (33E2, 33E3, 33E4 & 33E5) for the Celtic sea herring fishery and Irish sea herring fishery.

  • Authorisation Crosscheck for 6 AS (North) statistical rectangles in the North West herring fishery.

  • Authorisation Crosscheck for 6 AS (South) statistical rectangles in the North West herring fishery.

  • Verify that each logbook, a landing declaration is available.

  • Verify that each logbook, a sales note is available.

  • Verify that the VMS position message is sent within the threshold of the DEP message that was reported to have taken place

The SFPA/FMC will follow up on every detected fail that is notified by the system in relation to data to close them out. This may include them contacting the Master/Owner and notifying them of the action that they may be required to take. More serious fails may result in infringement action being pursued by the SFPA/FMC. In recent weeks Masters, Owners and Buyers may have noticed this increase in communication.