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Maritime Forum

Study 2008-10 lot 2: Development of tools for logbook and VMS data analysis

Satellite VMS data and logbook data are already being collected. They are however not yet automatically classified by metier nor are they usable in determining the spatial distribution of fishing activities. This study will develop a method to allow these uses of VMS and logbook data.

Why this study?

Today fisheries management is becoming much more fleet, area and metier oriented than before. In addition, with the implementation of the ecosystem approach we need to monitor the impact of fishing activities on the marine ecosystem. This we need to do in a spatial way. The already collected Vessel Monitoring System data provided information that could be very helpful in this. Therefore this study was commissioned to find a way to both automatically classify VMS data by metier and to use the VMS data to gain insight in to the spatial pattern of fisheries activities.


  1. Develop a method that automatically classifies trips into metiers based on Logbook data such as species composition, gear or group of gears and area of operation.
  2. To help the ecosystem approach develop the scientific use of VMS data to calculate ecosystem approach requires the calculation of a number of environmental indicators in order to monitor the impact of fishing activities on the marine ecosystem.


It is important that all Member States use a consistent method to translate logbook trips to metiers. In order to help this, this study will develop and test a method that for each Member State automatically classifies trips of logbooks into metiers.

For the VMS data it is important to be able to filter the data to make a distinction between for example steaming from fishing and discrimination between fisheries and

Metiers. Also if VMS data would be linked to logbook data on catch composition this would allow for a much better analysis. Therefore this study should develop and test methods on how to filter and link VMS databases to Logbooks in order to produce fishing pressure indicators such as distribution of fishing activity, aggregation of fishing activity and areas not impacted by mobile gears.

In addition the study will look at the current 2 hour sampling rate of the VMS system and conclude whether this is sufficient to estimate the relevant pressure indicators


18 months


€ 700.000