18th December

Discard ban top item on December Fisheries Council

Ireland's marine minister Michael Creed has told the EU Fisheries Council that a solution must be found for mixed fisheries in the context of the discard ban.

discards1

Mixed fisheries in waters around Ireland (Celtic Sea, Irish Sea and off the northwest coast) will create "difficult challenges" for fishermen as the discard ban is rolled out, he said.

All species subject to quota must be landed from 2019, effectively ending the current practice of discarding whitefish that are over quota, undersized etc.

Read more: Discard ban top item on December Fisheries Council

SFPA hosts information event for Ireland's fishing industry

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) - Ireland's independent regulator for the seafishing and seafood sectors - has hosted a fishing information breakfast for fishermen, processors and shellfish producers based in the southwest areas, as part of a series of information events around the country.

SFPA Bantry Briefing108

Michael Tanner, Bantry, and Maria Hurley, WANi with Claire O'Sullivan and Noel Ducker, SFPA

Speaking at the event, SFPA chair Susan Steele said the agency was "committed" to playing its part to ensure that Ireland's fishing industry has a strong future.

Read more: SFPA hosts information event for Ireland's fishing industry

Fisheries Local Action Groups secure funding for community projects

Coastal communities are to receive €12m to support local fisheries and aquaculture initiatives identified within the Fisheries Local Area Groups initiative.

FLAGS 2016

Pictured at the launch of the Launch of FLAGS (Fisheries Local Area Groups) programme at the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty are Michael Creed, T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Tara McCarthy, CEO, BIM with FLAGS representatives, WEST FLAG, Paddy Crowe, Inis Oirr, Co. Galway; SOUTH WEST FLAG, Kevin Flannery, Dingle Co.Kerry; NORTH FLAG, Gerry Gallagher, Co. Donegal; SOUTH FLAG, Finian OÕSullivan, Bantry, Co. Cork; SOUTH EAST FLAG, Noel McDonagh, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford and NORTH WEST FLAG, Gerard Hassett, Achill, Co. Mayo

Announcing the funding for the seven FLAGs, Michael Creed, minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said projects to 2021 with a strong interest in fostering coastal community development would be eligible. 

Read more: Fisheries Local Action Groups secure funding for community projects

Mackerel quota increase of 14% for Irish fishermen

Ireland's mackerel fishing industry will increase by more than 10,000 tonnes in 2017 to a quota of 86,429 tonnes. The increase was secured by marine minister Michael Creed at recent international fisheries negotiations between the EU, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland on the €1bn annual mackerel fishery in the North East Atlantic. 

Killybegs

Killybegs, Co Donegal, Ireland's pelagic stronghold 

“Mackerel is our most valuable fishery and allied to the fact that we are the second largest EU quota holder, these negotiations are of crucial importance to the Irish fishing industry", worth over €10m directly to catching sector with further added value through the processing factories in Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Cork, Minister Creed outlined.

“The quotas agreed for 2017 are consistent with the Long term Management Strategy agreed by the parties last year to provide sustainability and stability in this hugely valuable fishery in line with the scientific advice. Industry representatives, in particular, Sean O’Donoghue of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, Patrick Murphy of the Irish South & West Fishermen’s Organisation and Francis O’Donnell of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation were very helpful to the Irish negotiating team throughout the negotiations,” he added.

Read more: Mackerel quota increase of 14% for Irish fishermen

Dedicated website for inshore fishermen

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has created a dedicated website for the network of six inshore fishery forums around the coast of Ireland. Launching www.inshoreforums.ie marine minister Michael Creed said the website was a "vital tool" for sharing information and to foster interaction and discussion. 

NIFF website

Left to right: Paschal Hayes, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM); Minister Michael Creed; Roni Hawe, DAFM, Alex Crowley, Chair of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum and Eamon Aylward, DAFM

"Getting inshore fishing communities involved in decision-making is the key aim of the forum initiative. I hope the website will become a regular port of call for all interested in developing a sustainable future for this sector."

Read more: Dedicated website for inshore fishermen

Eels from Irish waters found in Sargasso Sea

Irish researchers from Inland Fisheries Ireland have contributed to EU-funded research that has helped solve the little known oceanic migration and behaviour of the European eel. An international team led by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), tracked more than 700 eels on their annual migration from Europe to the Sargasso Sea. Over 200 tags were recovered, allowing scientists to map more than 5,000 kilometres of the migration route.

IFI Eel migration routes to the Sargasso Sea copy

Eel migration routes to the Sargasso Sea

Between 2006-2012, eels released by scientists from Sweden, France, Germany and Ireland (Shannon, Corrib, Erne and Burrishoole catchments) were mapped from Europe to the Azores region - approximately half the distance to where by spawn in the Sargasso Sea. Forty-four eels fixed with pop-up satellite tags were successfully tracked from Ireland; one tag registered a journey of 6,982 kilometres and 273 days at sea.

Read more: Eels from Irish waters found in Sargasso Sea

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