The EMFAF Marine Biodiversity Scheme team will attend the Irish Skipper Expo to offer advice to industry and stakeholders on measures implemented under this scheme that are undertaken for the protection and preservation of marine biodiversity and to contribute to the fulfilment of Ireland’s obligations under EU Nature Directives. Marine Institute staff will be available to assist with guidance on:
- Compliance with the Habitats and Birds Directives requires ongoing public investment to identify potential risks from fisheries and aquaculture to designated habitats and species in Natura 2000 sites, to reduce those risks through management or other measures and to monitor and report on these mitigation measures and on the status of protected habitats and species.
- The impact of fisheries on the seafloor and on species populations through bycatch needs to be fully understood to develop effective mitigation measures under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) programme of measures.
The EMFAF have many projects underway at the moment, including the management of the crayfish fishery to protect critically endangered species.
The MI work programme aims to resolve the by-catch of endangered species, reduce interaction between net fisheries and wildlife (seals, porpoise, dolphin) and to restore crayfish stocks so that pot fishing becomes viable.
Speaking about the project, Julie Keane, EMFAF Marine Biodiversity Support STO said, “Resolving these issues is not only about protection of biodiversity but also protection of diversity of fishing. Angel Shark itself previously supported a vibrant sport fishery in Tralee Bay which was an internationally renowned sea angling destination. Solutions will reduce future pressure to enter the crayfish fishery and improve the environment in which a management plan for crayfish can be developed. The project will need support from fishery management measures to achieve results.