100 signatures reached
To: The High Court
Stop Unsustainable Fishing in Irish Inshore Waters
Reinstate the ban on trawlers greater than 18m to fish within 6 nautical miles of the Irish coast to protect marine biodiversity and coastal fishing communities.
Why is this important?
In 2018 the Irish government implemented a ban on trawlers greater than 18m to fish within 6 nautical miles of the Irish coast. The High Court has since overturned this ban with the current law now allowing boats of any size to fish anywhere with no regulations or quotas enforced. Not only is this detrimental to inshore ecosystems, smaller Irish fishing communities cannot compete with large unregulated trawlers coming inshore.
Bantry Bay in West Cork is one particular area that is currently at the detriment of unsustainable fishing practices. Although Bantry Bay is a designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC), drone footage of pair trawling was captured here in October 2020. This area is home to marine invertebrates, fishes, elasmobranchs, seabirds and marine mammals. While pair trawlers are fishing legally, with no regulations or quotas, they are fishing at an unsustainable rate and removing a critical food source (sprat and herring) for many larger marine species. Additionally, 80% of Irish fishing vessels are less than 12m and cannot compete with large trawlers. We need the Irish government to support small Irish fishing communities and protect our marine environment and its inhabitants. The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Marine , Charlie McConalogue has recently lodged an appeal against the High Court’s decision to allow large trawlers to fish within 6 nautical miles of the Irish coast. We call on the High Court to reinstate this ban on trawlers greater than 18m to fish within 6 nautical miles of the Irish coast.