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The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D, has launched a public consultation today on fishing with trawls inside the six nautical mile zone and the baselines and is seeking the public’s opinion on the matter.

Minister McConalogue said: “Five years ago, in December 2018, a transition to a ban on vessels over 18 metres trawling in inshore waters, inside the six nautical mile zone and the baselines, was announced following a previous public consultation. This ban had a strong support base but was overturned following legal challenge. In view of changes in activity and issues concerning the marine space since then, I think it is important that this issue is reviewed and reflected on in an open, inclusive process.”

As part of the Public Consultation, a Consultation Paper setting out potential options and providing information on issues to consider is being made available.  Up-to-date scientific and economic advice from the Marine Institute and Bord Iascaigh Mhara, respectively, on trawling in the waters inside the six nautical miles is also being published.

Minister McConalogue said: “I am conscious of the dependence of our inshore fleet, compared to larger vessels, on fishing resources within the six nautical mile zone.  Other issues that need to be reflected on include balancing the management of our fisheries with the needs of the marine ecosystem but also the changes that have come with Brexit, the Energy Crisis and the Climate Crisis.  The policy context is greatly changed from 2018. I encourage all interested parties to read the consultation documents and to reflect on those in making any submissions.”

The purpose of this consultation is to seek the views of all interested parties on trawling activity inside the six nautical mile zone and baselines.

All interested parties are encouraged to make a submission to this Public Consultation.

Details relating to the Public Consultation and on how to make a submission may be found here.