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'Chaotic' Governance Will Alienate Fishermen

4th November 2023
Unease in the fishing industry about lack of government co-ordination
Unease in the fishing industry about lack of government co-ordination Credit: Bob Bateman

There is a growing feeling in the fishing industry that there is a lack of coordination between various Government Departments in developing marine, specially designated protected areas.

This has been particularly highlighted by the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, which has claimed that the initial proposed Special Area of Conservation along the Porcupine Shelf and Southern Canyons, followed by the announcement of a Special Protection Area (SPA) in the North West Irish Sea in July, constitute what it describes as “the most chaotic form of governance that will ultimately alienate fishermen, driving a wedge between them and Government.

There is an acceptance within the industry that offshore developments, part of Government policy, will affect fishing, but there is what has been described to me as “deep unease”.

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for He presents the monthly programme Maritime Ireland on Podcast services and Irish radio stations.

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