IWDG welcome trawler ban within 6nmls21st Dec 2018
The IWDG welcome the announcement from Minister Creed that vessels > 18m in length will be restricted from fishing within 6nmls from the coast and baseline. This followed a consultation by the Minister with stakeholders in June 2018. The IWDG made a submission to the consultation supporting the proposed restrictions and also calling for a moratorium on sprat fishing until quotas informed by robust science were put in place. IWDG also called for a restriction on all trawling in SACs with dolphins and porpoise as qualifying interests until proper studies on the ecological effect of the removal of large amounts of prey species was carried out.
Trawlers fishing herring off Loop Head, Co Clare
The IWDG welcome the Ministers announcement, and consider this decision not only good for marine ecosystems, including whales and dolphins, but also for coastal communities. With proper management, these fish resources can support both fishing communities and marine ecology, and this decision will contribute to building inshore stocks to healthy levels and provide some ownership back to local coastal communities.
The IWDG in their submission proposed a moratorium on all sprat fishing both inside and outside the 6nml limit and baseline, until a management plan for this species was put in place. This has not been implemented, and IWDG are concerned that sprat could be targetted more in 2019 and with no quota restrictions, resulting in a huge impact on this very valuable prey species. What is the allowed catch of sprat in 2019? if 2,000 tonnes are allowed in 2020 and 1,000 tonnes in 2021. There is no good scientific reason to allow the continuation of sprat fishing for a further three years and IWDG are very concerned about the impact on this on sprat.
However, this is a good day for inshore fishing and we hope that the Minister continues to be strong in supporting coastal communities and our coastal ecosystem so we can look forward to small-scale sustainable fisheries supplying local markets and empowered stakeholders.
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