Warning on fisheries jobs as a third of Irish catch is at risk

EU fishery ministers set quotas for 2019 last week, some of which followed scientists’ advice.

Days later, our Government announced a ban on trawlers over 18m within six nautical miles of the coast. The restrictions come into effect in 2020 and will reduce the take-everything impact of industrial-scale trawlers and make smaller vessels sustainable.

Like many reform packages in Ireland, the six-mile exclusion zone is a consequence of EU obligations rather than a belated save-our-world change of heart at the cabinet.

The move is a key step for fisheries protection — introduction of Marine Protected Areas under the Marine Strategic Framework Directive which must be in place by 2020.

The move, however, may not avert a political rather than an ecological crisis in the sector.

Agriculture and Marine Minister Michael Creed, pointing out that around a third of Ireland’s catch is taken from British waters, has warned that thousands of fishery workers could lose their jobs if a hard Brexit excluded non-British vessels from waters they have fished for decades.

The Government is working on critical strands of this issue, including a focus on “pressure points that industry might encounter” and the “critical” issue of “reciprocal access to fisheries and resources” between the EU and UK.

There is hardly a sharper example of how dependent we are on EU solidarity and how very disruptive Brexit might be.

More on this topic

Salmon numbers declining despite best efforts

‘Severe weakness’ in fishery controls

Ireland drops to third on excessive fishing shame list

Government to ban large trawlers from waters within 6 miles of Irish coast

More in this Section

Green energy and electoral areas hold key to Kerry elections

Communities fight back against the drugs trade

As ballot papers expand, is it time to reassess political nomination process?

Plea by Sophie’s son to locals is entirely understandable, but unfair


Lifestyle

Album review: Flying Lotus - Flamagra

Weekend Food: Darina Allen introduces you to some of her favourite Sri Lankan dishes

Life without Leanne: Mother of teenager who took her own life to tell daughter's story in new book

Motoring on: UCC gut-health expert looks forward to new challenges

More From The Irish Examiner