The SFPA has issued a notice on the 2021 Lough Foyle wild oyster fishery, and Fishing Vessels Registered in Northern Ireland
The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority has issued a notice on the 2021 Lough Foyle wild oyster fishery, and Fishing Vessels Registered in Northern Ireland.
The Notice reads:
- Operators of fishing vessels registered in Northern Ireland which operate in Lough Foyle wild Oyster fishery should note potential impact of Brexit on landing patterns of previous years
- Live Bivalve molluscs such as oysters may be landed to certain EU ports by fishing vessels registered in Northern Ireland, but not by fishing vessels registered elsewhere in UK.
- Fishing vessels registered in Northern Ireland, landing wild fishery resources, including oysters in an EU port are subject are to North-East Atlantic Federation Convention (NEAFC) Port State Control (PSC) requirements
- NEAFC-PSC scheme did not apply when UK was an EU Member State but becomes applicable with Brexit.
- NEAFC PSC scheme applies through the landing to the port of one NEAFC Contracting party (the EU) by a vessel from a different NEAFC Contracting Party (UK). These requirements therefore exist for all NI vessel landings to Irish ports regardless of whether fish were caught in Irish EFZ or UK EFZ.
- Vessel operators or their agent should register for an account with NEAFC PSC
- There is no cost, but there is a time-lag so operators should do this well in advance of any intended landings
- In advance of every landing, vessel operators or their agents should, through the above electronic system, submit a pre-notification by completing NEAFC PSC1 form,
- This should be done at least 4 hours before arrival in port
- This should include details such as arrival time, arrival port and quantity to be landed
- The PSC1 form will need to be processed by the UK authorities as Flag State, and then the Irish Authorities as Port State
- Vessels may only land at NEAFC-designated ports
- NEAFC-Designated ports in Ireland are listed here
- The only NEAFC-designated port on Lough Foyle, is Greencastle, and that designation is limited to landings occurring from 14:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday.
- Moville and Quigley’s Point are not NEAFC-designated, so landings by fishing vessels registered in Northern Ireland may not occur to these ports
- For each landing, operators may only commence their landing, when SFPA as Irish Port State Authority has issued a landing authorisationfor that landing to occur, following processing of the NEAFC PSC1 form, and confirmation of catch legitimacy by Flag State.
- SFPA landing inspections will occur on a risk basis to verify accuracy of landed quantities.
- Events outside of NEAFC provisions, such as landing to undesignated ports, or landings without NEAFC pre-notification or landings commencing without authorisation will be regarded as non-compliances, with potential for product destruction, and/or operator prosecution.
- Additional requirements and declaration obligations exist under EU Customs law for UK vessels landing fishery product to EU ports. Operators should clarify such requirements with Irish Revenue.