The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) wishes to commend Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, for his decision today banning vessels over 18m in length from trawling within 6 nautical miles of the coast. This is a very significant step towards conservation of the marine environment and arises from a public consultation period early this year which saw over 900 submissions. The prohibition will ultimately safeguard the sea floor in these areas and bring an end to the practice of ‘pair trawling’ which has wrought so much damage in recent years. While the IWT would have liked to see the measures go further (particularly with regard to dredging the sea floor for scallops and seed mussels – damaging activities which will continue to be permitted), we acknowledge the importance of this move.
IWT Campaigns Officer, Pádraic Fogarty says “We’d like to thank all the people who made submissions to the Minister to bring this decision about. It will hopefully mark the point where sea life starts to rebound from decades of overfishing. While much more needs to be done this is an important milestone.”
The IWT emphasises that good management of marine resources is the key to healthy ecosystems and local economies. We still require better supervision of the industrial fishing fleet and Marine Protected Areas, among other measures, to relieve the pressure our seas are under.
CONTACT: Padraic Fogarty – IWT’s Campaigns Officer – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further details