Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU) is a term coined, at the turn of the millennia, by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). High economic incentives combined with minimal risk of being caught have lured a multitude into illegal fishing. It is estimated that IUU fishing amounts to 26 million tones valued at €10-23 billion annually. Scarcity coupled with excess demand spurs the prices higher for certain fish varieties. Very soon a Teufelkreis emerges, where depletion of fish stocks combined with poor enforcement at the local and national level fuels even higher prices and more overfishing. The European Commission Regulation No 1224/2009 and the implementation guidelines described in EU No 404/2011 break this vicious cycle nourished by environmentally unsound market forces. Monitoring and controlling fishing activity in EU territorial waters with the help of satellite-tracking devices and electronic recording and reporting systems will repopulate overexploited fish varieties and pave the way for sustainable development.
IKH’s mandate was to make the European Commission’s regulation a reality for Greek territorial waters. Our team of engineers designed the digital infrastructure needed – the Electronic & Reporting System (ERS) - for the fishermen to complete and transmit the logbook, declare landings and transshipments. The ERS serves as a two-way communication channel. The activity of Greek flagged vessels in foreign territorial waters is reported to respective member-states, while the activity of all EU fishing vessels in Greek territorial waters is reported to the local maritime authorities in accordance to EU standard interoperability. Specifically, IKH designed and engineered:
- Integrated subsystem for monitoring and administration. The fishermen log and transmit all necessary information related to their activities.
- Monitoring subsystem for the tracking of fish products. The system includes a registry of buyers and sellers as well as the relevant declarations which the first buyer is obliged to submit to Member state authorities.
- Monitoring, controlling, and reporting subsystem. It records inspections and reports all related activities (type of catch, sales etc.)
- Digital certification. It issues all certifications of pertinent fish products.
- On-line application forms. Manages applications of all stakeholders; electronic submission is conducted through standardized forms.
- The portal of Greek DG Fisheries serves as a single point of information for all interested parties as well as an entry point to the systems applications.
- The document management and workflow subsystem manages and monitors all electronic paperwork.
- The business intelligence subsystem processes primary and secondary data and produces reports for the decision-makers.
- Interoperability with the middleware system FLUX, a system of communication and transmission of information between EU member-states.
- The Hellenic registry of fishing boats, a revamped digital registry where all Greek fishing boats are listed.