Russian fisheries agency to standardise new catch monitoring system

A Russian trawler (Photo: Fishery Firm Variant)

The Russian Federal Agency for Fisheries has released a new software-based system that will allow vessel crews to report catches in real-time and thus avoid the risk of misdeclaration.

Named the Digital Catch Journal (DCJ), the ready-to-use system seeks to improve upon the agency’s mandated Industry Monitoring System (IMS) originally launched in 1999.

Local operators had earlier criticised the paper-based IMS’ lack of transparency, particularly since its limitations were believed to have allowed unscrupulous traders to deliberately declare lower than actual catch values as a means of avoiding payments of exportation fees.

Through the system, each fishing company and each vessel in that company’s fleet will be required to log all fishing-related activities, particularly activities involving vessels. Details to be provided will include vessel location, operations performed, seafood species included in each catch, the next scheduled port, and ETA among others.

The Russian government will require the DCJ to be installed on all locally-flagged fishing vessels with a gross registered tonnage of at least 80 tonnes and a power level of 55 kW or more.

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