It was interesting to read the report about the Fishing Industry in Ireland 2 Feb 2008.
There are two recent reports that will drive the development of the Irish Fishing Industry, the Marine Institute’s “Sea Change” and Cawley’s “Steering a New Course” .
The context for these reports is that Fish Stocks are declining and increasingly the fishing industry is under threat form over fishing and short term focused management. Fish landings contribute about 10% of the total marine resource in Ireland, higher than the global average of 4%. A similar UK report indentified that fishing around UK contributed 1.34% to the marine economy so there needs to be a real incentive to ensure fishing continues and is recognised for its true value.
A key challenge therefore is to develop a leading strategy throughout Britain and Ireland that provides a practical vision for a way forward and demonstrates a vision for sustainability and which has the support of other nations desiring sustainable fish. Any successful strategy will need the support of local fishermen and there is a real opportunity to establish support for communication training and education.
We are already hearing about the consequences of these two reports. A plan for decommissioning is well advanced. The danger, frequently expressed by the fishing industry, is a concern that strict conservation and sustainability procedures will reduce the fishing industry to a level where there will be no chance of a return to a viable sustainable industry in the future when conservation actions result in abundance. Sustainable solutions are therefore urgently needed.
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