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 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.”

At a recent meeting of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum, the Budget 2017 introduction of the Fisher’s Tax credit (based on the seafarer’s allowance model) and changes to the Fish Assist Scheme were highlighted as important income support mechanisms for inshore fishing communities.

Maintaining jobs and attracting new entrants have been identified by stakeholders as key challenges for the fishing industry, including the inshore sector.

“This annual tax credit specifically for fishermen of €1,270, which mirrors the value of the Seafarer’s Allowance, is an important recognition for their contribution to Ireland’s ‘blue economy’,” Minister Creed added.

Proposals to revise conservation measures for lobster and to introduce technical conservation measures for the velvet crab fishery were also tabled at the NIFF meeting on October 25.