Twenty-years on from the EU’s decision to close an area of the Irish Sea from commercial fishing, Sea Source NI has questioned the wisdom of the decision.
“On the 14th February 2000, the EU imposed the first sea area closure in European waters designed to rebuild cod stocks. This was in the Irish Sea. In 2000 the EU agreed a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of 2,100 Tonnes for cod in the Irish Sea. For 2020 the EU agreed a TAC of 257 Tonnes for cod in the Irish Sea. Draw your own conclusions….
“This is a picture of the cod closure. Until this year, between 14th February and 30th April the area within the black lines was closed to directed whitefish fisheries. The yellow and green areas were derogated for prawn fishing.
“As of now (14th February 2020) the closed area remains an EU Regulation. The rules have been amended and you can fish for prawns anywhere in the Irish Sea, including within the black lines, so long as you are deploying one of the approved highly selective gears fishermen are familiar with.
“Information on the use of our highly selective whitefish gear within the Irish Sea is awaited.”