The first industry-led blueprint for Ireland’s inshore fisheries sets out objectives to develop the sector over the next four years and is supported by financial aid under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund.
The ‘Strategy for the Irish Inshore Fisheries Sector 2019-2023’ follows a development process involving the National and Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums which support coastal initiatives that seek to encourage a sustainable, profitable and well-managed inshore fisheries sector.
An all-inclusive approach involving industry and State partners identified key issues and priorities, drawn from a workshop and a public consultation.
The strategy marks “a major milestone” in the work of the forums, remarked marine minister Michael Creed.
The Minister also announced approval to increase the minimum conservation reference size for brown crab from ICES Areas VI and VII to 140mm, initiated by members of the fishing industry in the south-east.
This industry-led initiative follows a public consultation in 2018 and will enable the brown crab fishery greater time to reproduce. An ‘lead-in’ period will be identified and the measure will be implemented by statutory instrument.
Minister Creed also congratulated the new chair of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum, Trudy McIntyre, South East Regional Inshore Fisheries Forum:
“Trudy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new role at a very important time in the Irish inshore sector and has already been instrumental in supporting initiatives…including the first Inshore Fisheries Strategy.”