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Displaying items by tag: Inshore Fisheries

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today launched the ‘Strategy for the Irish Inshore Fisheries Sector 2019-2023’ on behalf of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum. The Strategy will frame the work of the Inshore Fisheries Forums over the next number of years and represents the first time the Inshore Fisheries Sector has developed its own sector-specific plan.

The Strategy sets out a vision for the future of the inshore sector, that it “will have a prosperous and sustainable future delivered through a united industry with a strong and influential voice”. The Irish inshore sector comprises fishing boats of less than 12 metres in overall length, which are predominately active within six nautical miles of the Irish shore. These boats, approximately 80% of the Irish fishing fleet, operate from communities all around the Irish coast and support an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 jobs.

The Strategy presents four Main Themes which cover the Organisation and Profile of the Inshore Sector; the Management of inshore resources; the Infrastructure and Resources available to the inshore sector and the Profitability of the sector. Specific objectives are set for each of these themes which focus on building the sector up in terms of its own identity including its people, resources and infrastructure to create a strong Inshore Fisheries industry for the future. Key issues to be addressed through the Strategy include enhancing business skills across the sector, sustainable management of key fish stocks as well as attracting and retaining talent, all with a view to maximising the potential of this sector to support Ireland’s coastal communities.

Launching the Strategy, Minister Creed commented: “I am delighted to launch this strategy, and I would like to commend the work done by all those involved in developing it, particularly the members of the Inshore Fisheries Forums who contributed to this significant landmark step. The National Inshore Fisheries Forum has recognised in this Strategy that the Inshore Sector needs a strong sense of identity and that there is strength in building cohesion and working towards common goals. This Strategy gives them a clear blueprint for the future.”

The development of a strategy for the Irish inshore fisheries sector was identified as a priority by the National Inshore Fisheries Forum in 2017. The National and Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums were established to facilitate the development of a coherent inshore sector “voice” by encouraging inshore fishermen to discuss their fishing issues and generate commonly-supported initiatives. Since their inception, the Forums have developed initiatives seeking to protect the future of a sector which is extremely important for Irish coastal communities. 

The Strategy was developed through an extensive and inclusive process, which included both industry-focused and wider public consultation. A Steering Group, made up of industry and State partners, including representatives of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum, oversaw the development of the Strategy. The Strategy development was co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme.

Implementation of the Strategy will be led by Bord Iascaigh Mhara, in partnership with the National Inshore Fisheries Forum and the inshore sector. BIM will work closely with the Forum to prepare an implementation plan for the Strategy and to identify the objectives and actions that will be prioritised. This process will facilitate the targeting of financial support available under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to programmes and initiatives where it can be used most effectively.

Published in Fishing

#inshore – The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D. welcomed the appointments of the Chair and Vice Chair of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum at the second meeting of the Forum today. The NIFF has been set up to facilitate the development of a coherent inshore sector "voice" by encouraging inshore fishing communities to discuss their fishing issues and generate commonly-supported initiatives. Ciaran Quinn of the North West region was appointed as the first industry-led Chair of the Forum with Eddie Moore of the South West region as his Vice Chair.

The Forum has also been given representation on the Quota Management Advisory Committee and the EMFF Operational Programme Monitoring Committee. Speaking in relation to the recently announced Seafood Development Programme, the Minister said: "While there is a provisional allocation of €6m targeted at the inshore sector, in practice there is much more in the Seafood Development Programme for inshore fishing communities including CFP implementation support, processing development schemes and community-led development."

The Minister and the NIFF also discussed the need for the imminent introduction of conservation measures for razor clam fishing in the Irish Sea: "At the first NIFF meeting in January I heard serious concerns from delegates about the sustainability of the razor clam fishery. Having given careful consideration to industry proposals and to scientific advice, it is clear to me that the fishery is under intense pressure and action is needed. To address the risk of collapse in this fishery I am preparing to introduce interim outtake limits and to monitor fishing effort on a real-time basis but it is already apparent that access to the fishery will need to be managed to prevent over-exploitation. I have asked the NIFF to facilitate development of a managed access programme for the fishery to ensure that the valuable market for this fishery can be maintained into the future. Anyone currently considering fleet investment for this fishery should exercise considerable caution as the fishery is already under significant pressure and access may become conditional on retrospective records of fishing activity. Sustainability will be first and foremost in my mind when deciding on the future measures for this fishery."

Under the EU Birds & Habitats Directives Ireland is obliged to manage the impact of fishing activities on protected habitats, species and birds. At today's meeting general approaches to the introduction of mitigation measures were discussed in some detail and the Minister asked the NIFF to engage with his officials and agencies to develop plans to allow sustainable fishing to continue. In this context and following a number of years of consultation and discussion between the marine agencies, the Department and fishermen concerned, the Minister announced his intention to sign into law a Fisheries Natura Declaration to manage fishing activities in Roaringwater Bay in West Cork. "There are features in Roaringwater Bay which are particularly sensitive to certain fishing activities and we must ensure that the integrity of the Special Areas of Conservation is protected. Protecting the ecosystem of marine conservation sites protects the quality of our marine environment and is another step towards harnessing our ocean wealth in a sustainable way."

Discussions were also held on proposals to manage recreational pot fishing, lobster conservation measures and other policy issues affecting inshore fishing communities.

Published in Fishing

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