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New Pingers Requirement for Fishermen from 1 September

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UK - The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has been getting in touch with fishermen before the new EU pingers regulation comes into force on 1 September 2013.

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All vessels measuring 12 metres or over using certain nets are required to fit acoustic dissuasive devices, known as pingers, by this date, to help reduce cetacean by-catch (where porpoises and dolphins are mistakenly caught in fishing nets).

The MMO has written letters to fishermen who will be affected, distributed leaflets on the new requirement and highlighted the change to fishing organisations.

Claire Bowers, MMO Wildlife Officer, said: "We’ve been working hard to ensure everyone who is affected knows that by 1 September, they should have taken the appropriate steps to ensure they have pingers fitted. This follows a two-month period, which began on 1 July, to allow masters to become fully compliant."

The regulation applies all year round in International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) areas VIId, e, f, g, h and j to all EU vessels that are 12 metres or over using bottom set gill or entangling nets with a mesh size of 220 mm or more. It also applies in Area IV between 1 August and 31 October for 12 metres and over vessels using nets of a maximum of 400 metres in length (of any mesh size).

Letters and information packs have been sent to producer organisations, the NFFO and industry.

Further guidance is available from