A Seafish report on harbours in Northern Ireland has revealed that ‘Small Ports’ lack the required safety, waste, safety and general facilities
A study of harbours in Northern Ireland has found a lack of flake ice machines, power washers and powered davit winches, along with a lack of safety facilities, refrigeration facilities and waste facilities affects commercial fishing in ‘Small Ports’.
The Northern Ireland Fishing & Seafood Development Programme developed by the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) was established in response to calls from the Northern Ireland (NI) fishing industry to make significant investments in fishing harbour infrastructure. The Stage 1 report, published in February 2020 reviewed and made recommendations for improving the infrastructure at fishing ports under the Northern Ireland Fishing Harbour Authority: Ardglass, Kilkeel and Portavogie.
It was stated within the Stage 1 report that further work was required to review facilities available to the fishing industry at all other landing ports in NI, referred to as ‘Small Ports’.
This report provides the results from a survey assessing the infrastructure and facilities at small ports in NI. For the purpose of the research, a small port was defined as a landing site that supports commercial fishing vessels and has a reported average landings value <£1,000,000 between the years 2018-2020. Therefore, Ardglass, Kilkeel, Portavogie, Belfast, Londonderry (landings value >£1,000,000), and Larne (no commercial fishing activity) were excluded from the sample (see Table 1).
The purpose of the survey was threefold:
- To assess the availability and suitability of the facilities necessary to support a viable, safe and environmentally responsible inshore fishing industry.
- To identify barriers to maintaining and improving key infrastructure and facilities.
- To contribute to the strategic planning of investment in small port infrastructure and the development of facilities to help support a sustainable seafood industry.
The results of the survey aim to contribute to the development of regional priorities highlighting where funding is required and in the long-term, contribute to improvements in fisheries infrastructure, facilities and safety within small ports.
The report provides an evidence base to support the long-term planning for the seafood industry in NI. The gaps in infrastructure identified will help prioritise future funding and development requirements.
The results are separated into the following sections: commercial fishing facilities, waste facilities, safety facilities and general facilities. The results within each section are split for sites with reported average landing values of >£200k (Group 1: Ballycastle, Bangor and Warrenpoint) from sites with reported average landing values £200k (Group 2: 18 sites) (see Table 1).
The results of the survey can be read by clicking on the button above.