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Coveney on Irish Sea Trawler to view new Discard Reduction Nets

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine today went to sea on an Irish Sea Prawn Trawler to view at first hand a demonstration of innovative fishing nets, which significantly reduce unwanted cod catches.  Minister Coveney was on board the MFV Syracuse owned by Mr Ivan Wilde of Skerries on a fishing trip in the prawn fishery in the Irish Sea. Mr Wilde has pioneered the use of this new type of fishing gear in Ireland.

Minister Coveney said "I was very pleased to have the opportunity to meet and join Mr Wilde and his crew on a fishing trip in the Irish Sea.  On the trip I saw the positive impact of the use of a pioneering  grid that allows cod escape from prawn fishing nets.  It is critically important that cod friendly fishing methods are developed that minimise catches of cod and this grid is one good example of an effective option.  In this way, we can continue the very important prawn fishery while protecting and rebuilding the Irish sea cod stock."

The prawn fishery in the Irish Sea is economically very important for the Irish fleet.  The cod stock in the Irish Sea has collapsed and in order to rebuild the cod stock catches of all cod and particularly juvenile cod need to be reduced to a low level.

Minister Coveney added "In the Irish Sea, the use of traditional nets in the prawn fishery has resulted in a by-catch of cod and juvenile cod which is being discards.  I am committed to the development of practical and effective measures that reduce discards to a very low level across our fisheries. The Marine Institute and BIM are working with fishermen to develop eco friendly fishing nets that will be practical for fishermen while addressing effectively  unacceptable discards of juvenile and other unwanted fish.  This gear is a good example of what can be achieved by the development of these new targeted eco friendly fishing gears.  I would like to see wider take up of these types of measures and approaches across many of the fisheries around Ireland, so as to reduce discards and rebuild many of fish stocks on which our industry depends".

Photo Pr 25/12 - 09.02.2012 Photo PR 25/12 - 09.02.2012

PR 25/12 - 09.02.2012 Photo PR 25/12 - 09.02.2012

Date Released: 09 February 2012