NORWEGIAN THREAT TO IRISH FISHING
The Irish fishing industry is being threatened with another major impact on its waters This is from Norway a non-EU Member State which wants to get its fleet into Irish waters to fish for the valuable blue whiting. “Blue whiting is a valuable species, concentrated in Irish waters. The Irish industry has pioneered its development as a quality food product for export markets. Basically, Norway is looking to more than double the amount of Blue Whiting they can fish and access further south in our waters. They are not offering any quid pro quo to Ireland, in terms of rights to fish in their waters,” said Aodh O’Donnell, Chief Executive of the Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation. The fact that Norway is making their request to the EU and not directly to Ireland, speaks volumes. They seem optimistic that the EU will unilaterally surrender access to Irish fishing grounds to a non-EU State. They are not even EU members and must be refused access to fishing in the Irish Box. Although they do not belong to the EU, they currently already have rights to fish in the West of Ireland. Now, we are asked to give them access further south in Irish waters to catch blue whiting,” Norway has a quota agreement for 2023 with Russia, which involves reciprocal arrangements regarding fishing and landing Russian vessels in Norwegian ports. This is despite the sanctions’ regime against Russia, because of the war against Ukraine.
OIREACHTAS URGES MORE MPA CONSULTATION
An Oireachtas Committee has said that greater consultation with the fishing industry must be “facilitated” to provide better planning around marine protected areas (MPAs) and offshore wind farms. In a report on biodiversity loss, the Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action says that the expansion of the marine renewables industry in Ireland must be led in a climate-friendly manner. “The provision of best practice guidelines supported by legislation would ensure robust and consistent site assessments and risk analyses” in relation to offshore wind development,” the Committee’s report said.
GALWAY BEACH WATERSPORTS BAN ‘MISLEADING’
The national sailing association told Galway County Council that the Council’s proposed bye-laws to ban watersports from the county’s beaches were “misleading.” Three watersports could be affected by the proposals which have been criticised in Galway. Irish Sailing said in a statement that it “understands the intention of the byelaws is not to prohibit or unnecessarily restrict watersports activity, however the bye-laws as currently drafted are misleading and suggests otherwise.”
- Fishery officers from the Loughs Agency have reported zebra mussels near Victoria Lock at the Newry Canal. Zebra mussels are an invasive species that cause habitat loss, species extinction, ecosystem impacts, risks to human health and economic impacts. Multiple specimens from a range of age classes were observed in the Newry Canal during low water conditions. The presence of several age classes suggests an established, spawning population, the Loughs Agency said.
- Construction work is reported to be underway on the new marine and cultural heritage centre at Sruthán Pier in Carraroe, Co.Galway.
Join the discussion