In advance of the annual Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels next Monday and Tuesday the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) is urging Minister Michael Creed to prioritise the recovery of fish populations – something that will benefit fishing communities as well as the environment. In the Irish Sea only half of the stocks which have been assessed are considered healthy. In all Irish waters cod is seriously overfished, monkfish is declining, while familiar dinner favourites such as whiting and haddock are depleted in most areas. Restoring the wealth of our seas is not only a legal requirement under the Common Fisheries Policy but holds enormous potential for boosting income for coastal communities. While this approach has dictated a degree of short term pain by the fishing industry, a report from the New Economics Foundation suggests that dramatic falls in fuel prices have resulted in record profits. This creates a unique opportunity to implement recovery measures without the attendant economic impacts .
IWT Campaign Officer Pádraic Fogarty says: “Successive governments seem to have given up trying to repair the damage done to the marine environment. The Irish Sea in particular is a shadow of its former abundance. There is a clear legal and moral obligation on Minister Creed to restore the great wealth of our seas, something which has been squandered through decades of mismanagement. There is always a reason not to act – but now is a particularly good time to take the tough decisions”.
The IWT will be in Brussels next week along with our eNGO partners to promote an end to overfishing and rebuilding fish stocks.
CONTACT: Padraic Fogarty - IWT's Campaigns Officer - firstname.lastname@example.org for further details
Editors Notes: The Irish Wildlife Trust was founded in 1979 as a charitable conservation body. We provide the public with information about wildlife, run education and training programs like SAC Watch and the Badger Schools Programme, carry out habitat and species surveys like the IWT National Newt Survey, campaign and lobby around biodiversity issues, restore natural habitats, consult with industry, agriculture and Local Authorities to maintain our natural heritage and contribute to national and international forums for the protection of biodiversity. The IWT is a nationwide organisation with a strong membership base, staff and Board of Directors, with branches in Dublin, Longford/Westmeath, Galway, Kerry, Laois/Offaly, Waterford.
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