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Irish Sea Fish Stocks at Dangerously Low Levels

8th June 2010
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Irish Sea Fish Stocks at Dangerously Low Levels

The Irish Independent is reporting that the Government will be forced to impose annual bans on commercial fishing in Irish waters.  Stocks of cod and other species have dropped  to dangerously low levels, according to a report leaked to the Irish Independent. "Many commercially important fish species in Irish waters are heavily exploited," the report said. "Cod stocks in Atlantic waters are considered to be in a state of collapse and are expected to decline further.

"Recovery plans were established for Irish Sea cod in 2000 and west of Scotland cod in 2004, but both have been ineffective. It is likely that severe measures, such as multi-year closures in certain areas, will be required to ensure longer-term sustainability of cod stocks."

But the findings were disputed by the Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation which said the report was not current.

"It obviously isn't up to date with the scientific information," spokesman Sean O'Donoghue said. "Cod stocks continue to be of concern but mackerel is up at high levels and in a healthy position. The Celtic sea herring saw a 70pc increase. We would absolutely dispute, 100pc, the advice on the herring.

"We catch very little cod, it (a ban) wouldn't be a huge problem for us. The problem is that cod is not swimming on its own. Cod is often mixed with whiting so the problem would be if they close every other fishery around it. If they decided to close the mackerel fishery it would be a huge economic disaster for Ireland. The report doesn't make sense to me. It doesn't look at the reality of fishing."

The full Irish Independent article is HERE.

Published in Fishing
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