The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today hosted his first meeting of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum (NIFF).
At the National Inshore Fisheries Forum, Minister Creed met with the chairs and vice-chairs representing the six Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums to hear their proposals for the future development of the inshore fisheries sector. The inshore sector (comprising fishing boats of less than 12 metres in overall length) make up more than 80% of the fishing fleet and are predominately active within six nautical miles of the Irish shore. This was the 7th meeting of the NIFF, which was established in 2014.
Minister Creed said, “I am pleased that there was a focus in today’s discussions on priorities to ensure a positive long term future for this sector. This Government has committed to the development of the inshore sector. To deliver this, it is essential to hear the views of the stakeholders themselves through the NIFF. With EMFF funding now available, there are opportunities to secure sustainable inshore fisheries and enhance incomes in rural, coastal communities.”
Among the range of issues discussed at today’s meeting were access to herring stocks, and proposals to develop national conservation measures for velvet crab.
The National Inshore Fisheries Forum (NIFF) was set up to facilitate the development of a coherent inshore sector “voice” by encouraging inshore fishermen to discuss their fishing issues and generate commonly-supported initiatives. A network of six Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums (RIFFs) around the Irish coast have nominated delegates to bring forward regional proposals to the NIFF for wider industry discussion. The RIFF members include inshore fishermen, environmental interests, marine leisure, marine tourism and other marine stakeholders. The structures also provide opportunities for collaboration between the inshore fishing sector and their communities on sustainable strategies to optimise the income opportunities afforded by the coastal resource.
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