PRESS RELEASE: Irish Wildlife Trust calls for all trawling to be prohibited within the coastal zone

Jun 11

PRESS RELEASE: Irish Wildlife Trust calls for all trawling to be prohibited within the coastal zone

 

The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has made a submission to the public consultation on Minister Michael Creed’s (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) review of trawling activity inside the 6 nautical mile zone.

In our submission we highlight how the seas around Ireland are the common heritage of the people of this country, as well as future generations, and belong to no individual or industrial sector. Our seas are our history, our landscape and are vital to coastal communities which, thorough tourism or small-scale fishing, depend on it for a living. Our ocean wildlife is among the most spectacular in the world however it is gravely threatened from poorly-regulated fishing, pollution and fossil fuel exploration. Indeed, much marine life has already deserted our coastal zone from overfishing and harmful activities – inshore fishing for herring, cod and mackerel are a thing of the past, commercial fishing for salmon, eels and sea bass have shut down completely, while 62% of species of sharks and ray face extinction. Many of these problems can be blamed on trawling – an indiscriminate method of fishing that results in enormous waste and habitat destruction.

IWT Campaigns Officer, Pádraic Fogarty says “it is very welcome that restrictions on trawling within the 6 nautical mile zone are being considered and we have called for all bottom and mid-water pair trawling to be prohibited as a matter of urgency. Such a move provides an enormous opportunity to allow for the recovery of marine life, the celebration of a healthy ocean and truly sustainable coastal communities.”

We hope that this bold move will be passed but on its own it will not be enough to provide the protection needed for healthy seas. Only good management of marine resources will do that, something which should include the prohibition of other damaging fishing practices such as dredging and tangle netting, better regulation of supertrawlers, the designation of robust Marine Protected Areas, the banning of exploration of fossil fuels, and the legal protection of threatened marine species. Prohibiting trawling within the 6nm zone however would be a major step in the right direction. The full text of our submission can be found on our website here

ENDS

CONTACT:  Padraic Fogarty - IWT's Campaigns Officer - irishwildlife@iwt.ie for further details