Public Consultation

bass fishing Jim Hendrick

Minister Creed launches public consultation on trawling activity inside the 6 nautical mile zone

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed today launched a public consultation on trawling within the 6 nautical mile coastal zone. This consultation is taking place after a number of concerns were raised by stakeholders regarding the level of trawling inside the 6nm zone. The topic has been the subject of scientific and economic reports by the Marine Institute (MI) and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and preliminary engagement with fisheries representative groups.

The Minister said: “This Government has committed to the development of the inshore sector in the current Programme for a Partnership Government. The programme identifies a number of methods for supporting the sector, such as ensuring smaller inshore boats are given new opportunities for commercial fishing”.

Minister Creed continued: “I want to support new initiatives that will strengthen the economic and social underpinning of our valuable coastal and island communities. This consultation provides an opportunity to examine the case for giving priority access to our inshore vessels within the 6 mile coastal zone and in addition better support the eco-system in inshore waters”.

The Minister has prepared a formal paper, with advice from the MI and BIM, to aid the consultation process. The consultation paper sets out possible measures and their potential impacts.

The Minister concluded by saying “This consultation ensures that the diverse interests of all stakeholders are heard and considered, so that any possible measures introduced will be both fair and balanced”.

The consultation paper entitled ‘Trawling Activity inside the 6 Nautical Mile Zone’, along with referenced reports and analysis, are available at the relevant link on the Public Consultations page of the Department’s website at www.agriculture.gov.ie/customerservice/ … sultations

Scientific research carried out by the MI advises on the environmental impact of fishing. Fishing can have significant effects on local ecology and ecosystems, especially if fishing is intensive locally and results in local overfishing of stocks. For instance, temporary overfishing of small pelagic fish stocks such as sprat and herring potentially has negative effects on how wildlife (seabirds, mammals) use these local areas. Many of these areas are designated by EU Directives for seabirds, water birds and marine mammals because these same areas are seen as important habitats for these species. Controlling the exploitation of such fish at a local level, rather than along broader geographic scales,is therefore important.

Source Marine Institute

The consultation period will run until Monday 11th June 2018.

Interested parties may submit comments in writing by email to:

FisheriesConsultation@agriculture.gov.ie by 5:00pm on Monday 11th June 2018

Or by post to:
Public Consultation on Trawling Activity Inside 6nm,
Sea Fisheries Policy and Management Division,
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,
National Seafood Centre,
Clonakilty,
Co. Cork,
P85 TX47