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Dublin: 14°C Monday 8 August 2022

Large fishing trawlers banned inside six miles of Irish coast under new shake up

The restrictions will kick in in 2020.

Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

AGRICULTURE MINISTER MICHAEL Creed today announced a ban on large fishing trawlers from being within six nautical miles of the Irish coast. 

Under these new measures, vessels which are more than 18 metres in length will no longer be allowed within the six mile zone. The new restriction will kick in in 2020. 

The minister said he took over 900 considerations from the public before making the decision. 

He said that the new restrictions will be good for the industry as a whole. 

Creed said: “I believe there is a compelling case for excluding trawling by large vessels in coastal waters inside six nautical miles. I am satisfied that there are sufficient fishing opportunities for these vessels outside of six nautical miles.  I also believe that these actions will provide wider ecosystem benefits, including for nursery areas and juvenile fish stocks. I am very conscious of the exclusive reliance of small scale and island fishermen on inshore waters and the benefits this change will bring for those fishermen. I firmly believe that this will, in the medium term, provide ecosystem and nursery stock benefits for all fishermen.”

The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) welcomed the move. It said that the announcement was a very significant step towards conservation of the marine environment

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The IWT said that the prohibition will ultimately safeguard the sea floor in these areas and bring an end to the practice of ‘pair trawling’ which has wrought so much damage in recent years.

IWT Campaigns Officer, Pádraic Fogarty said: “We’d like to thank all the people who made submissions to the Minister to bring this decision about. It will hopefully mark the point where sea life starts to rebound from decades of overfishing. While much more needs to be done this is an important milestone.”

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