Fish buyers and fishermen face new electronic rules –

Fish buyers and fishermen face new electronic rules Published:  08 September, 2009

FISHERMEN and fish merchants in England and Wales face a new raft of electronic based legislation from this month.

A new website is being introduced as part of a recent requirement set out by European Commission regulations which states that it compulsory for buyers and sellers with an annual turnover of more than 400,000 euros (around £350,000 sterling) to submit sales notes of first fish sales electronically.

For fishermen, the Marine and Fisheries Agency is now introducing electronic net measuring gauges when inspecting fishing equipment. The MFA says this will enables meshes to be measured consistently by digital display and will give a better reading that the old hand pressure wedge gauges.

The agency also maintains the new measure is in response to demands for standardisation and consistency by fisheries inspectors, scientists and the industry in general. They have recently been tested by the Royal Navy’s three fishery protection vessels and are legally obliged to be used throughout the EU and demonstrationswill be provided to fishing organisations.

Meanwhile, for fish buyers and sellers the electronic sales notes legislation swings into action after September 14 when a new MFA subsite is launched. They will contain a data entry system for the electronic submission of sales notes of first hand sales, an up to date register of buyers and sellers with search, and various other associated information. Companies with a turnover less than 400,000 euros can also take part, but at the moment it is not compulsory for them to do so.