The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D. today launched a public consultation on proposals to regulate non-commercial pot fishing.
Speaking about the proposals the Minister said: “This consultation is about sustainability, looking at the need to balance commercial and non-commercial fishing activity so that the stocks in question aren’t overfished but also so that incomes and livelihoods are supported into the future. I have heard concerns and strong views expressed about the potential volume of illegal sales of catch from non-commercial fishing boats at the National Inshore Fisheries Forum.”
He added, “I am also conscious that pot-fishing is a popular past-time, particularly for holiday makers in some areas. I would like to see clear lines drawn between recreational and commercial pot-fishing. I am now seeking feedback from all concerned stakeholders about how this issue should be advanced.”
Commercial sea-fishing is a highly regulated activity and sea-fishermen must meet the requirements for a sea fishing licence, the requirement to fit out a safe and seaworthy vessel and the costs associated with both. A range of conservation measures apply to species fished by pots, including minimum landing sizes for crabs, minimum and maximum landing sizes for lobster and a prohibition on the sale of lobsters which have been v-notched.
The consultation paper describes the current regulatory environment and proposes a number of options for regulating non-commercial pot-fishing. Preliminary input was sought from the National Inshore Fisheries Forum due to concerns expressed in a number of regions about non-commercial fishing activities. Submissions to the consultation can be made in writing or online: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/non-commercialpotfishingconsultation2015/
The Minister also stressed that sustainable fisheries and sustainable seafood needs cross-sector awareness: “Illegal sale of catch from non-commercial fishing boats should not have a route on to dinner tables. Only buy from registered fishing boats and registered buyers. Be responsible and make sure that what you catch and eat meets the conservation standards for that species.”