18th October

Coastal states unite in single voice on Brexit

Communities along Ireland’s coastline sustained by a €1.1bn fishing industry and 11,000 jobs it supports, are ‘extremely concerned at the potentially devastating ramifications of Brexit,’ believes the Killybeg’s Fishermen’s Organisation.

Coastal Communities Brexit
Seán O’Donoghue along with Francis O’Donnell (Irish Fish Producer’s Organisation); Hugo Boyle (Irish South & East Fish Producer’s Organisation); Jim O’Toole and Kieran Calnan (Bord Iascaigh Mhara) and Matthew Clarke (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) in the company of industry figures from across the EU at the signing of the Santiago de Compostela declaration

Speaking at a conference in La Coruña, Spain, organised by the European Fisheries Alliance to debate the impact of Brexit on the fisheries sector and local communities, KFO chief executive Sean O’Donoghue said that fisheries was unique as it was a limited resource shared with the UK in terms of quota, fishing grounds and markets.

Read more: Coastal states unite in single voice on Brexit

Standards underpin sustainable Irish seafood guarantee

BIM Clogherhead RSS fisherman Niall Connolly mfv Patrick CIreland's seafood development agency, BIM, is organising a series of workshops as part of their Responsible Seafood Sourcing programme.

This national seafood assurance scheme, developed by BIM and supported by Bord Bia and Origin Green, the programme comprises two standards: onboard and onshore, and is independently certified according to ISO 17065 procedures.

Niall Connolly, MFV Patrick C, Clogherhead Co-op, certified RSS member

Read more: Standards underpin sustainable Irish seafood guarantee

Ireland's mackerel quota 2018 'disappointing' but inevitable

The outcome of the annual coastal states mackerel negotiations have been described as disappointing but not surprising by the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation. These negotiations between the EU, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland, focus on ‘sustainable management’ of the €1bn fishery in the North East Atlantic.

Mackerel quotas 2018

Ireland secured a quota of 69,143 tonnes with a corresponding landing value of €70m. The sharing arrangement agreed in 2014 between EU, Faeroes and Norway which is due to expire at the end of 2018, holds ‘an amount’ in reserve to accommodate other parties, according the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Read more: Ireland's mackerel quota 2018 'disappointing' but inevitable

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

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