Cameras should be installed in Scottish waters to help monitor compliance with landing obligations by the fishing sector.
The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Connectivity was responding to a parliamentary question by Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson.
Mr Stevenson had asked the Scottish Government what its position is on the use of Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) to help monitor compliance with the landing obligation.
In response, Mr Ewing said as one of Europe’s leading fishing nations there was “every reason” to stop the “wasteful practice” of fish being dumped if can be landed instead.
He said: “While we continue to work with other Member States to find the right solutions to “choke species” which may occur under the landing obligation, we have also insisted to our EU partners that there must be a level playing field which ensures effective monitoring and control of the discard ban.”
The European Union has already advised that for large scale, directed pelagic fisheries, control experts from Scotland and elsewhere have already advised monitoring can best be achieved with the use of cameras and sensors.
He added: “The Scottish Government agrees with this recommendation and we would be content to see cameras installed where appropriate on all relevant vessels fishing in EU waters.”
Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said: “It is fundamental we do as much as we can to ensure member states are complying with landing obligations.
“The use of REM allows monitoring in our waters in order to stop wasteful practice of fish being dumped, when it could be landed instead.
“It is important we have a level playing field which allows us to make sure that those fishing in and around the UK are doing so with best practice in mind.”