§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr. Ben Bradshaw)
In December 2002 the Council of Ministers decided that satellite monitoring for Community fishing vessels over 24 metres should be extended, first to vessels over 18 metres from 1 January 2004 and then to vessels over 15 metres from 1 January 2005. Detailed rules subsequently adopted by the European Commission in October 2003 require Member States to take measures to ensure that satellite tracking devices fitted to fishing vessels do not permit the input or output of false positions and are not capable of being over-ridden.
To secure the maximum enforcement benefit from vessel monitoring systems it has been decided that tracking devices fitted to UK fishing vessels should be fully "tamper proof" and dedicated to position reporting.
Since such terminals may not be used by vessel owners or masters for business purposes, and subject to Parliamentary approval, DEER A has decided to meet the costs of fitting tamper proof terminals to those UK registered vessels for which it is the licensing authority. The arrangements will be time limited. They will apply to existing vessels and those that join the fleet before 31 December 2004. It is expected that around 280 vessels will be equipped with tamper proof terminals by the end of 2004 at an overall cost of less than £1 million.