MRAG assessed to what extent VMS information could constitute primary evidence in court. If admissible as evidence, this could open perspectives for the reduction of aerial surveillance and consequently improve the cost-effectiveness of fisheries control.
Information concerning legal cases brought forward and pending against fishermen on the basis of VMS information was collected and presented. This information was obtained from third countries and Member States administrations within the EU (including new Member States). An analysis of this information was given with a view to determine whether the position reports have evidential value in courts and to what extent they could constitute an exclusive basis to prosecute a master or owner of a fishing vessel.
Reporting and advice was presented on the "best practice" in bringing forward cases based on VMS information and proposals and amendments to existing Community legislation and existing VMS systems that could improve the evidential value of VMS information.