For some people, the sea is not part of the land and the land is not part of the sea. For others, people are not part of the land and they certainly are not part of the sea. Or, at least they should not be. They should only be part of part – maybe half, as suggested by the biologist E.O. Wilson.
The Green Party today (January 25) launched their General Election 2020 manifesto – ‘Towards 2030 A Decade of Change’.
So what do the Greens have to say about fishing? Running with E.O. Wilson’s suggestion, they state:
“Our sea area is ten times the size of our land area and its ecological status is in crisis because of climate change and the unsustainable fisheries policies that have continued for decades.
“We can restore habitats and increase the ability of the marine system to abate the worst effect of climate change by designating large marine protected areas.”
How will they do this? The Greens promise to:
- Designate 50% of Irish territorial waters as Marine protected areas
“The selection and management of the areas will be informed and combined with a major scientific survey, assisted by all relevant State agencies, of the changes that are taking place in the North West Atlantic due to climate change,” they say.
Other promises from the Greens on fisheries include:
- A proposal that any increase in real fishing outputs must correspond to commitments to sustainable strategies for the sector.
- Support for an end to the licensing of offshore salmon farming and a switch to closed loop onshore salmon farms.
- A proposal that all processing plants and boats over an agreed size should be Marine Stewardship Council certified.
- A ban on Pair Trawling in Irish coastal waters.
As part of their manifesto the Greens also espouse a commitment to:
- A massive investment in offshore wind and plans for the development of 5GW of offshore wind in the Irish sea by 2030 and 30GW of floating offshore wind from the Atlantic and Celtic seas by 2040.
- (They do also, however, espouse a commitment to community energy ownership).
Whether those promises suggest a new or fair deal for fishing and coastal communities we’ll leave that up to you.
More as we get to them and as they come.
Our Rose DA 110 Image by Cormac Dunne