The Licensing Authority for Sea-fishing Boats in Ireland has published its Annual Report for 2020
The report says that 2020 marked another busy year for the Licensing Authority.
The core work of the Licensing Authority is summarised hereunder:
In 2020 the number of new applications for a sea-fishing boat licence totalled 220.
A total of 179 vessels were licensed and registered in 2020 from new licence applications received.
The licences for 1,721 vessels were renewed in 2020. This was 10 less than in 2019.
The number of registered sea-fishing boats in the Irish fleet at the end of 2020 was 1,998, a decrease of 0.3% on the 2019 figure.
The total on-register capacity of the Irish fleet (including Aquaculture vessels), expressed in gross tonnes, a measure of volume, and kilowatts, a measure of engine power, was 64,912GT and 189,169kW, decreases of 0.9% and 1% respectively on the 2019 figures.
At the end of 2020, a total of 14,122GT and 12,022kW was off-register, i.e. held in the owner’s account and available for use as replacement capacity but not assigned to a vessel. Under current licensing policy, capacity that is off-register for two years or more is no longer available for use as replacement capacity.
No Ministerial Policy Directive was issued by the Minister to the Licensing Authority during 2020.
The Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Act 2014 was enacted by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport on 25/12/14 and is subject to coming into force by commencement order. This Act will have practical and legal implications for the licensing and registration of all sea fishing boats.
EU Control Regulation (Council Regulation 1224/2009 and Commission Implementing Regulation 404/2011) provides the legal basis and imperative for fleet monitoring, certification and verification of engine power, and for the establishment of a regime of points for serious fisheries offences. The Licensing Authority is required to record against the licence holder and against the capacity of the vessel, any points assigned to the vessel by the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA). No points were recorded in 2020 under the European Union (Common Fisheries Policy) (Point System) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 318 of 2020).
The report covers vessels from the:
- Refrigerated Seawater (RSW) Pelagic Segment – which consists of 23 vessels engaged predominantly in pelagic fishing including, mackerel, herring, blue whiting, horse mackerel and boarfish. Vessels in the RSW segment range in size from 23.96m to 64.91m in registered length, from 325GT to 1,988GT in volume and 522kW to 3,460kW in engine power.
- Beam Trawler Segment – this segment contained 10 vessels, dedicated to beam trawling.
- Vessels in this segment may fish only by means of beam trawls, and target demersal species, including plaice, sole, turbot etc. They range in size from 23m to 28.05m in length overall, from 83GT to 196GT in volume and 221kW to 474kW in engine power.
- Polyvalent Segment – This segment comprised 1,722 vessels, the greater part of the sea-fishing fleet. Polyvalent vessels are multi-purpose and include small inshore vessels (netters and potters), and medium and large offshore vessels, targeting whitefish, pelagic fish and bivalve molluscs. Vessels in this segment range from 3.06m to 38m in length overall, from 0.19GT to 469GT in volume and 0kW to 1,119kW in engine power. The segment has four sub-segments:
- vessels under 18m in length overall
- vessels equal to or over 18m in length overall
- the Scallop sub-segment – vessels equal to or over 10m in length overall with qualifying track record in the scallop fishery, as defined in Ministerial Policy Directive 2 of 2003, as amended by Ministerial Policy Directives 1 of 2006, 1 of 2011 and 2 of 2011.
- the Potting sub-segment – vessels licensed and registered under the “Potting Scheme”.
- Specific Segment: This segment contained 14 vessels, which are permitted to fish for bivalve molluscs and aquaculture species. There are two sub-segments:
- Scallop sub-segment – vessels equal to or over 10m in length overall with qualifying track record in the scallop fishery, as defined in Ministerial Policy Directive 2 of 2003, as amended by Ministerial Policy Directives 1 of 2006, 1 of 2011 and 2 of 2011
- Specific general sub-segment – vessels in this segment range from 5.35m to 35.59m in length overall, from .66GT to 135GT in volume and 3.7kW to 560kW in engine power.
- Aquaculture Segment: This segment contained 96 vessels with a total capacity of 4,278GT and 11,655kW. The Aquaculture Segment is not subject to the entry/exit regime outlined at section 1.2. The capacity of the Aquaculture Segment is not part of Ireland’s Fishing Capacity Ceiling set from 1 January 2014 under Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy. Vessels licensed in this segment must be used exclusively in the harvesting, transport, handling and/or landing of aquaculture products and can, subject to an authorisation under section 13 of the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006, collect wild mussel seed as part of a service to aquaculture installations, subject to certain restrictions determined in the context of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013.
- Vessels in the aquaculture segment range from 4.38m to 49.07m in length overall, from 0.57GT to 561GT in volume and 7.30kW to 748kW in engine power.
Ireland’s Fishing Capacity Ceiling set in 2014 was established at 77,568 GT and 210.083kW by Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy.
The report shows that as of December 2020, 60,634GT and 177,514kWs was active on the register, with 14,122GT and 12,022kw off-register.
Of the total 14,122GT off register, 11,230GT related to RSW Pelagic and the balance of 2,892GT was primarily Polyvalent (2,668GT), with minor quantities of Specific (187GT) and Beamer (37GT).
In relation to kW, the total of 12,022kW included 9,537kW Polyvalent and the balance of 2,485kW was a combination of Specific (1,150kW), RSW Pelagic (662kW) and Beamer (673kW).
To read the full report, click on the image of the report above.