IWDG Commercial Fisheries Policy document

29th Jun 2006 The IWDG launched their new policy document - addressing commercial fishing - this week at Fish Ireland 2006 in Killybegs, Co Donegal.


Commercial fishing is the human activity, which has one of the largest impacts on the marine environment and on those creatures that live therein. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), with our i n t e rest in the conservation and protection of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoise), supports sustainable commercial fishing and those coastal

communities engaged in this activity.

This new policy document makes nine recommendations which address a range of issues from improving our knowledge of cetaceans in Irish waters so we can determine the impact of commercial fishing to promoting an ecosystem approach to managing our marine resources.

The IWDG also recommends that Ireland fully implements those conventions with implications for fisheries management and cetacean conservation which it has already ratified (Habitats Directive and OSPAR) and also signs up to ASCOBANS without delay.

All new fisheries and gear developments to be subjected to a full Environmental Impact Assessment before being licensed for use. While the IWDG supports the EU Bycatch Resolution 812/2004, more re s e a rch is urgently re q u i red to develop pinger reliability and effectiveness, prior their deployment in the gill net and tangle net fleets. The monitoring requirements laid out in Resolution 812/2004 should be implemented fully and without delay to determine current bycatch rates (including seasonal and geographical variation) and to identify those fisheries and areas with unsustainable rates.

IWDG supports Marine Protected Areas or No Take Zones for fisheries management. However they should be of a large enough spatial scale to benefit predators and facilitate the assessment of the impact of this management tool on the ecosystem.

The IWDG are concerned that a system should be established to enable effective communication between the DCMNR and DEHLG and other stakeholders regarding management

The IWDG also recommends that the Irish fishing industry should be expected to achieve ‘Sustainable Seafood' compliance for Irish fisheries and fish products. Customers to be provided with full information on the source of fish and the fishing methods used to catch them.

The document follows the well received Whalewatching Policy document which influenced the Department of the Marines recent Marine noptice on whalewatching vessels.

Download commercial fisheries policy document (PDF file, 1.03 MB)