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Landing of v-notched crawfish to be banned under law in bid to restore numbers in Irish coastal waters

The move follows a decline in crawfish landings in recent years.

Image: Shutterstock/KOBRYN TARAS

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced new conservation measures to provide legal protection to a particular type of crawfish.

This will prohibit Irish sea-fishing boats from landing or retaining v-notched crawfish on board, forcing them to return them alive into the sea, and will also ban sales of the fish at market.

It stems from a proposal initiated by members of the fishing industry in the southwest in consultation with the Marine Institute, which sought legal protection for v-notched crawfish. 

It also follows a decline in crawfish landings in recent years, with an average of just 20-30 tonnes per annum compared with more than 200 tonnes in 1989.

Similar provisions are already in place to protect lobster, and have proved a popular and effective method of managing stocks.

At today’s National Inshore Fisheries Forum meeting in Cork, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed asked marine agencies to provide their views on an appropriate lead-in time for the new measure.

He also said the had the potential to support the recovery of the crawfish stock in its traditional fishery areas along the south west and west coasts.

“The Inshore Fisheries Forums, now five years old, continue to embrace the challenge of developing measures to support the sector on the path to long-term sustainability,” he said.

“I have asked my officials to draft the appropriate legal instrument to implement this measure.”

The NIFF meeting also heard about the potential implementation of the Inshore Fisheries Sector Strategy, as well as proposals for the mackerel hook and line fishery and the management of the landing of crab claws.

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