EU: New Fishery for Lesser Spotted Dogfish in Irish waters
November 9th, 2012
McHugh welcomes breakthrough for small fishermen at EU talks
Fine Gael TD for Donegal North East, Joe McHugh, has today (Friday) welcomed the agreement between the European Council and the European Parliament, which is expected to allow for the establishment from Jan 1st 2013 of a new gillnet lesser spotted dogfish fishery for inshore fishermen in Area VIa of Irish waters.
“This week there has been agreement between the European Council and the European Parliament on transitional technical measures, to allow for the establishment in Area VIa (northwest) of Irish waters, of a new gillnet fishery for lesser spotted dogfish, and for a new jigging fishery for saithe. On foot of the the agreement that has been reached, these new fisheries are expected to be formally approved shortly by the European Council and the European Parliament, and both fisheries should commence from the beginning of next year.
“This breakthrough in negotiations between European governments means that there is agreement for small inshore fishermen in Area VIa to catch lesser spotted dogfish using gillnets of mesh size greater than 90mm (3.5 inches), provided that the gillnets are deployed within 3 nautical miles of the coastline and for a maximum of 10 days per calendar month. Other conditions will include maximum gillnet length of 1,000m; maximum soak time of 24 hours; and that at least 70% of the catch be made up of lesser spotted dogfish. This new fishery will be exclusive to Area VIa.
“I have been campaigning for the opening of this fishery for small inshore fishermen in Area VIa since 2009, when I first proposed the creation of a lesser spotted dogfish fishery for Area VIa. I commend Minister Coveney and his Department officials along with BIM and the Marine Institute who have made great progress on this issue at both EU, national and local levels.
“Lesser spotted dogfish is not edible for humans, but is usable as bait for crab fishing and lobster fishing. Some fishermen are importing lesser spotted dogfish for bait at a cost of upwards of €200 a day, which is an enormous expense. Subject to the approval of the EU Council of Ministers and of the European Parliament, this new fishery will potentially create a new mini bait industry for hard-pressed inshore fishermen, enabling Irish crab and lobster fishermen to source bait locally.”
Source: Fine Gael Press Office