Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger
Fisheries and Aquaculture Department
LogbooksLogbooks are widely used as a method of collecting statistical information on commercial activities. They provide a mean of recording data at the source.
With the ever-growing amount of control being exercised in many fisheries, the provision of statistical information has become increasingly used or contemplated as a mandatory requirement for the granting of licences or permits to fish. Even where no licensing system is in operation, but where monitoring of fishing activities forms an essential aspect of control, the need to maintain precise records of fishing operations in the form of logbooks is recognised and is frequently a mandatory requirement.
The use of the logbook should be based primarily on the size of the vessel.
Eurostat requires that all vessels over 10 metres in length should use logbooks, except when absent from port for less than 24 hours.
Logbooks may be considered as having two main functions:
(a)surveillance-orientated objectives, as a tool in the enforcement of fishing regulations and to ensure compliance with resource management controls.
(b)data-orientated objectives, as a method of collecting primary fishery statistics and as a principal source of information on fishing inputs and outputs.
Logbooks are acknowledged to have the important role as vehicles for data collection, resulting in logbooks being used by several rather different groups of users. Two distinct major groups of users are identified as being:
(a)biologist-economist (fishery activity data, catch and effort data).
(b)enforcement authorities (especially under licensed fisheries schemes).
In most situations for the compilation of fisheries data, logbooks should not be considered in isolation, but as an integrated system including other documentation, such as landings declarations and sales notes. The quantities of fish recorded in logbooks are, in most cases, not accurate values, but estimates. Due to adverse working conditions on fishing vessels, the first opportunity to accurately record the quantity of fish is usually at the time of landing. The value of the logbooks from the point of view of the quantity of fish caught is in situations where on a single trip a vessel fishes in two or more fishing areas or uses two or more types of fishing gear. In such circumstances the quantities recorded in the logbooks may be used to allocate the quantities landed between the different fishing areas and/or methods. The other essential statistical information obtained from logbooks is the fishing effort responsible for the catches.
Recommendations"Time away from port" should be the criterion determining the use of a logbook, and logbooks should be used for all vessels being away from port for more than one day.
The recording of data on a haul-to-haul basis may not be essential and practicable, while day-to-day records may be sufficient. However, separate records should be kept for each change of fishing gear or method and for each change of fishing area.
The most representative position of the haul should be recorded indicating latitude and longitude ( degrees and minutes).
Absolute obligation is made to record the retained catch.
Recording of discarded catch separately is strongly recommended.
Essential requirements to the entries at the head of a logbook page, irrespective of the tailoring to different circumstances, should be:
Landings declarationsThe landings declaration records the quantity of each species (normally only those subject to catch quotas or other regulations) in the landed weight of the product. In general, a landings declaration has to be made at the end of a fishing trip by the skipper of each fishing vessel regardless of size and duration of the fishing trip. In certain cases, for example for the smaller vessels, a declaration may not be required for each trip but may be submitted weekly or monthly. In such cases the national authorities may seek additional information from interviews with the skippers by national inspectors.
Sales notesThe authorities responsible for the sale of each landing (whether it be the vessel's agent or the auction authorities) submit to the national authorities information on each landing: the quantity of the species and form in which they are presented and the value of each product together with information on the vessel making the landing. This information may only be limited to those species under catch quota management or it may cover non-quota species.
J. A. Pope."Guidelines for the establishment of logbook and related systems". FAO Fisheries Circular No. 793. 1986. 26p.
Eurostat."Fisheries - The collection and compilation of fish catch and landings statistics in member countries of the European Economic Area", 1998. 112 p.