The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., yesterday announced his intention to launch a public consultation on the Inshore Fisheries Strategy following a proposal made by the National Inshore Fisheries Forum. The consultation process will be open for a seven week period and is due to close on Friday 17th August 2018.
The proposed strategy will frame the work of the Inshore Forums over the next number of years. It follows an extensive consultation process involving the National and Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums who have been instrumental in supporting initiatives that seek to cultivate a more sustainable, profitable and well-managed inshore fisheries sector. This is the first time in the history of the State that inshore fishermen have set about developing a sector-specific strategy for themselves.
Minister Creed said:
“I am delighted to announce a public consultation today on the first Inshore Fisheries Strategy. I welcome the crucial role that the Inshore Fisheries Forums have played in its development and I am pleased that the Forum members are continuing to take the lead when it comes to engaging with issues that affect the inshore sector. I would like to thank BIM for facilitating the Forums in undertaking this task.”
The development of an inshore strategy will underpin a sustainable inshore fisheries sector and afford an opportunity to target funding support available under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to where it can be most effectively used.
Commenting on the Strategy consultation the Minister said:
“This is an opportunity for all interested parties to contribute their views on the development of the first strategic plan for the inshore sector. It is critical that stakeholders have their views considered as this Strategy will frame the work of the Inshore Forums over the next number of years and provide a clear direction for the development of the inshore sector. I am encouraging interested parties to submit their views on the Strategy by Friday 17th August.”
Interested parties are invited to view and complete the consultation available on the website below:
Notes for Editors
Inshore Fisheries Forums
The inshore sector (comprising fishing boats of less than 12 metres in overall length) makes up more than 80% of the fishing fleet and is predominately active within six nautical miles of the Irish shore. The Inshore Fisheries Forums were set up to facilitate the development of a coherent inshore sector “voice” by encouraging inshore fishermen to discuss their fishing issues and generate commonly-supported initiatives.
The National Inshore Fisheries Forum is supported by a network of six Regional Forums around the Irish coast. Delegates from the Regional Forums bring forward regional proposals to the National Forum for wider industry discussion. The Regional Forum members include inshore fishermen, environmental interests, marine leisure, marine tourism and other marine stakeholders. The structures also provide opportunities for collaboration between the inshore fishing sector and their communities on sustainable strategies to optimise the income opportunities afforded by the coastal resource.
The Inshore Fisheries Forums are financed under the Inshore Fisheries Conservation Scheme through Ireland’s EU Structural and Investment Funds Programme 2014-2020 and part financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. The Inshore Fisheries Forums are facilitated by the statutory bodies responsible for marine fisheries in Ireland, namely Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Sea Fisheries Protection Agency and the Marine Institute. Bord Iascaigh Mhara provides administrative support to the forums.
European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme
Ireland’s EMFF Operational Programme 2014-2020 was adopted by the European Commission in December 2015 and launched in January 2016 by the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine. The Programme provides €240m in funding to the seafood sector (fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing) over the period 2014 to 2020. The Programme is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.
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