17th December

Future of fisheries must not be determined by short-term political considerations

A coalition of nine member states directly impacted by Brexit has called for continued joint management of shared European fisheries rescources.

Speaking in the European Parliament, Gerard van Balsfoort, chairman of the European Fisheries Alliance, said that responsible management of the shared resource was a "prerequisite" for continued economic vitality:

European Fisheries Alliance

"We call upon all stakeholders to come together to devise a post-Brexit fisheries management system based on the current arrangement that safeguards continued sustainability of stocks and economic prosperity for both UK and EU fishing fleets."

Key topics discussed at a gathering of scientists and NGOs included the benefits of well-managed and sustainable stocks (EU and UK fleets); international laws; cross-border fisheries management and potential effect of a 'hard Brexit' on stock sustainability and the marine environment.

Read more: Future of fisheries must not be determined by short-term political considerations

Shellfish safety information events

Biotoxin sampling and reporting; microbiological classification; new legislation; food safety management systems; food incideints; new risks and exports are among the topics to be covered at regional workshops in October and early November.

Organised by the SFPA in conjunction with the FSAI, Marine Institute and BIM, the information events are targeting the shellfish industry to learn more about Ireland's monitoring programme and how it assists industry to ensure that live bivalve molluscs placed on the market meet the highest standards of food safety. 

Mussel general

"We want to ensure safe and trustworthy seafood for everyone. A collaborative food safety community dedicated to raising food standards continuously, and maintaining a culture of excellence, is central to achieving this," remarked Pamela Byrne, FSAI chief executive. 

Read more: Shellfish safety information events

Pulse trawling must be investigated says MEP

Sinn Fein MEP Liadh Ní Riada is calling on the European Commission to "urgently carry out more research" into pulse trawling.  Also known as electro trawling, this is a controversial, technologically advanced method of commercial fishing that has been used on an experimental basis but is reportedly making a breakthrough into mainstream European fisheries.

Pulse fishing

The Ireland South MEP who sits on the EU Fisheries Committee, said there were too many unknown effects of the practice on marine life and ecosystems:

"Ordinary fishermen and conservationists alike describe pulse trawling as the marine equivalent of fracking when it comes to the fishing industry," she remarked.

Read more: Pulse trawling must be investigated says MEP

Fisheries Bill unlikely to succeed due to insufficient government support


During a recent Dáil debate (3/10/17) Fianna Fáil spokesperson on fisheries, Pat the Cope Gallagher, asked Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, about the status of the Sea-Fisheries (Amendment) Bill 2017.

voisinage map

Deputy Gallagher noted that voisinage arrangements* between zero and six miles are part of the London Convention but “will no longer apply in Northern waters once the two years UK withdrawal notices expires in July 2019” and referred to the notice served by the UK in July 2017 that it was withdrawing from the 1964 London Fisheries Convention.

Read more: Fisheries Bill unlikely to succeed due to insufficient government support

Differences 'must be parked' to present a united front on Brexit

The linkage between access, quota and trade is a “clear priority” from an Irish and European perspective in the Brexit talks, warns a leading figure in Ireland’s fishing industry.

Seafest 2017 Beau Weston

“And when I talk about trade, I’m not talking about seafood trade - I’m talking about total trade - we cannot break that linkage. If it does happen, the game is over.”

Seán O’Donoghue, chief executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, was speaking at a Brexit briefing ahead of BIM’s National Seafood Conference at the end of June.

He added that that problems relating to the Common Fisheries Policy must be “parked’ as fighting a battle on two fronts would be “absolutely crazy”. No matter which fishing sector you’re in - whether you’re pelagic, demersal, shellfish or mixed species - Brexit is a real disaster if it does wrong.”

Full story: Autumn issue (Sept 6)

Read more: Differences 'must be parked' to present a united front on Brexit

Funding to support communities along Ireland’s northeast coast

Thirteen maritime projects in counties Louth, Meath and Dublin, will receive grant aid of almost €220,000 to support total investment of €434,337.

FLAG North East is one of seven regional groups operating under the Fisheries Local Action Group programme - co-funded by the exchequer and the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF), and contributes to the Action Plan for Rural Development.

FLAG 2017 Northeast

Richard McCormick, President, Maritime Institute of Ireland; Minister Andrew Doyle; Jim O'Toole, BIM chief executive and Garrett O'Brien, Chair FLAG North East at the National Maritime Museum, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin

The announcement in the National Maritime Museum completes the rollout of the FLAG programe: South (Cork): North (Donegal); South West (Kerry, Limerick); South East (Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow); West (Mayo, Clare); North West (Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim), culminating in total investment of more than €3.6m in 2017.

Administered by BIM, the scheme will provide €12m in funding to Ireland’s coastal communities from 2014 – 2020.

Speaking at the launch in the National Maritime Museum, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Minister of State Andrew Doyle said each of the projects showcased “diversity, vision and enterprise, and where marine life, heritage, history, fishing and seafood, have been a significant contributor to the local economy”.

Read more: Funding to support communities along Ireland’s northeast coast

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