Sea pa­trols to tar­get un­li­censed fish­ing

Bray People - - NEWS -

THE Sea-Fish­eries Pro­tec­tion Author­ity (SFPA) will carry out pa­trols of the Wick­low coast in an ef­fort to tar­get un­li­censed fish­ing op­er­a­tors.

The nationwide in­shore fish­eries pa­trol pro­gramme aims to help protect Ire­land’s valu­able crab, lob­ster and whelk fish­eries. The pro­gramme will run up un­til Au­tumn and any­one found to be non-com­pli­ant with sea-fish­eries or seafood safety reg­u­la­tions can ex­pect to face pros­e­cu­tion.

Su­san Steele, Chair of the SFPA said: ‘Il­le­gal fish­ing by a small num­ber of fishermen is un­fair to the ma­jor­ity of in­shore fishermen who fish legally. It jeop­ar­dises the fu­ture of the in­dus­try by threat­en­ing the long-term sus­tain­abil­ity of Ire­land’s valu­able in­shore fish­eries on which many coastal com­mu­ni­ties rely for a liv­ing. It also poses a risk to pub­lic health, and could po­ten­tially dam­age the ex­cel­lent rep­u­ta­tion Ir­ish seafood en­joys both at home and abroad.’

Li­cens­ing, reg­is­tra­tion, op­er­a­tion of on board ves­sel track­ers where they are re­quired and com­pli­ance with fish­ing within des­ig­nated fish­ing ar­eas will be among the is­sues that will be scru­ti­nised. The SFPA will also be check­ing that ac­cu­rate sales records are be­ing main­tained. Only li­censed fishermen are per­mit­ted to sell their catches com­mer­cially to en­sure trace­abil­ity of prod­uct, to protect con­sumer health, and en­sure con­ser­va­tion of the fish­eries.

The in­spec­tions will be car­ried out by two 7.5 Me­tre Rigid In­flat­able Boats (RIB) craft with the ca­pac­ity to winch lift and inspect lob­ster pots and keeps.

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