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FP6

SHEEL — Result In Brief

Project ID: 502153
Funded under: FP6-POLICIES
Country: Portugal

Eliminating the paper trail for fishing logbooks

Fisheries management procedures include maintenance of a logbook for monitoring and control. EU researchers demonstrated the economic and technical feasibility of using an electronic logbook to eliminate the reports that skippers must manually complete according to existing legislation.
Eliminating the paper trail for fishing logbooks
The ‘Secure and harmonised European electronic logbook’ (SHEEL) project was conceived to eliminate the paper trail in fisheries’ logbooks by converting to an electronic format.

The SHEEL project sought to develop a method for secure transmission of information from the shipping vessel to the fishing authority onshore as well as incorporation of inspection facilities for performing cost-effective onboard checks. The EU-funded team of researchers successfully implemented a common XML data format based on the North Atlantic Format (NAF) currently used for data exchange between fisheries and European authorities.

The skippers played a vital role in development of the system via voluntary non-paid collaboration. They were interested in automising procedures as much as possible, with concrete opinions on the user interface and specific functionalities. They allowed the system to be installed on their vessels and taught themselves to use the system, generate reports and send them to the proper authorities.

The SHEEL project produced an economical electronic logbook for use by vessels to communicate with port authorities. It emulated the current European Commission paper logbook and demonstrated excellent transmission capability. Thus, SHEEL clearly demonstrated the economic and technical feasibility of implementing an electronic logbook for more efficient fisheries’ management. Commercialisation of the concept will have important impact on European fisheries, with effects on costs as well as quality and conformance. Future work must be done to enhance security and enable onboard inspection of the logbook.

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