The SFPA will provide training for owners & skippers of 12-15 metre fishing vessels in using the Electronic Recording & Reporting System (ERS) fin fishing vessel logbook kfo management inshore waters

The CEO of the KFO, Dominic Rihan has said that the organisation acknowledges the need for improved management in Ireland’s inshore waters

In responding to the public consultation on a review of trawling activity inside the six nautical mile (nm) zone and baselines, the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO) acknowledged the need for improved management measures in inshore waters. However, it concluded that it cannot support any of the options presented in the consultation. 

The purpose of this consultation, which closed for submissions on the 12th April, is to gather information regarding options for restricting trawling inside Ireland’s six nautical mile zone and the baselines. However, rather than a blanket ban based on an arbitrary vessel size or fishing method, the KFO advocates tailored measures in inshore waters and fisheries to protect spawning grounds, nursery areas, sensitive habitats and species. Such measures should have clear conservation objectives and be supported by the best available data.  

In its submission, the KFO has identified that rather than adopting this approach, the consultation is based on partial data and broad assumptions which make them inappropriate to inform the crucial decisions presented.  While trawling has environmental impacts, as do all food production methods, the impacts of trawling are dependent on many factors relating to the construction and operation of the gear, target species and area fished. This has been largely ignored in the consultation.

The CEO of the KFO, Dominic Rihan said, “There is no doubting the importance and reliance of smaller vessels on the waters inside 6nm and baselines but there is nothing in the supporting documentation to show how excluding vessels over an arbitrary size from trawling inside the 6nm zone will improve the availability of fish for vessels under 12 metres in length. Such an exclusion will merely displace these vessels into other fisheries”.

The KFO submission to the consultation also highlights the impacts Brexit has had on pelagic vessels of all sizes from severe and permanent loss of quota following from the TCA Agreement.  Further restrictions that reduce the flexibility of these vessels to catch remaining quota will increase the economic pressures on these vessels for no gain in the conservation of stocks. 

Source: Press Release

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