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Protecting Fisheries Interests

by 5m Editor
23 August 2010, at 1:00am

EU - With a view to enhancing existing fisheries control and monitoring arrangements between Ireland and Norway, the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) and the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries have signed a bi-lateral agreement earlier this month.

The fisheries control authorities of Ireland and Norway agree there are significant benefits for both sides in sharing relevant information and in enhancing co-operation in areas of mutual interest.

The agreement signed makes provision for the routine exchange of information on landings by Norwegian fishing vessels into Ireland and by Irish fishing vessels into Norway. In addition, there is provision for the exchange of fisheries information on inspections and of information on cases where the fishing vessel of one party is found to be in breach of the regulations of the inspection services of the other party.

The Irish and Norwegian authorities share the view that the practice of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) represents a major problem not only for the control authorities but also for the majority of fishermen making their living fishing legitimately. The enhanced co-operation between Ireland and Norway can go some way to addressing the illegal fishing and trade in fish and fishery products.

IUU fishing is an extensive international business - many IUU fishing vessels operate in international waters. All the illegally caught fish and fish products are ultimately landed into ports and in this context the parties recognise that every effort must be made to enhance the existing framework for monitoring, control and surveillance to prevent and eliminate IUU fishing and associated activities.

Peter Whelan, Chairman of the SFPA said: “Annually, about 50,000 tonnes of fish are landed by Norwegian fishing vessels into Ireland. Trends observed in landings show a decrease in the number and volume of landings into Norway by Irish fishing vessels and an increase in the number and volume of landings by Norwegian fishing vessels into Ireland. This reflects the recent development of added-value for human consumption blue whiting products by Irish fish processors.”

5m Editor