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New guide to be distributed to all offshore vessel owners to maximise compliance with Landing Obligation


The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) have launched a new guide to assist vessel masters in adhering to landing obligation requirements. A waterproof copy of the guide has been posted to all vessel owners with an electronic logbook onboard. One guide will be delivered for each 12 metre and over vessel.


Discarding is a term specifically used for catches of species which are not kept but returned to the sea. The EU has taken action to put an end to this wasteful practice through the introduction of the Landing Obligation.  Under the Landing Obligation, all catch subject to Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limits must be retained, recorded, and landed, unless an exemption applies. The SFPA’s guide offers detailed instructions on how discards can be recorded using ieCatch V3, the latest version of the Irish electronic logbook software. Illustrated with step-by-step procedures, screenshots, and examples, it guides users through the process of logging a discard.

Pictured at the launch of SFPA’s Landing Obligations Exemptions Guide at Castletownbere on the 27th March 2024, from left to right: Catherine McManus, Chairperson of the Consultative Committee; Anthony Sheehy, Consultative Committee Member; Paschal Hayes, Executive Chairperson, SFPA and Lily Riddle, Fisheries Control, Food & Fisheries Support Unit, SFPA.

Welcoming the publication of the guide, SFPA Executive Chairperson Paschal Hayes said:

“I am encouraged that representatives from the Sea-Fisheries Protection Consultative Committee have partnered with the SFPA in the production and promotion of our Landing Obligation Exemptions Guide. It is imperative for fishing vessel masters and owners to familiarise themselves with this guide to ensure accurate recording of discards and compliance with conditions for discarding under de minimis and high survivability. Accurate reporting of discards plays a role in the sustainable management of our marine resources. The SFPA continues to ensure the implementation of the Landing Obligation through inspection, control activities and consultation with fishers, other control agencies and various stakeholders.”

Commenting on the launch of the Guide, Sea-Fisheries Protection Consultative Committee Chairperson Catherine McManus said:

“It is the statutory function of the Consultative Committee to seek to keep the sea-fisheries and seafood sectors generally informed of the applicable sea-fisheries law.  This guide is a practical example of the Consultative Committee, working with the SFPA in meeting this function.  Promoting compliance with the Landing Obligation is important to ensure fishers are fully informed of their obligations and that the future sustainability of the sector is safeguarded.  I want to thank my colleagues in the Consultative Committee who worked with the SFPA to progress this initiative.”