RAC adopts NFFO Irish Sea Proposals

27th April 2009 in Advisory Councils, Irish Sea

At its recent meeting in Paris the North West Waters Regional Council adopted the NFFO’s proposals for a new approach to fisheries science in the Irish Sea.

A paper submitted by the Federation and discussed by the Irish Sea Working Group, has now been approved by the Executive Committee.

The ideas in the paper – on how to improve the quality of the ICES fish stock assessments in the Irish Sea by increasing the level of fishing industry involvement - will now be part of a more general initiative to provide advice on how to improve the management of the Irish Sea fisheries.

The NFFO’s starting point was the dismal cycle of poor data, weak assessments, low TACs, leading to an alienated and resentful industry disengaged from the assessment process that characterised many of the Irish Sea fisheries. Breaking out of this downward spiral requires a fresh approach that recognises that fishermen hold important knowledge that can be used to strengthen assessments, and changes to the ICES system so that it can accommodate and use this new data.