A court decision allowing inshore trawling to continue has been met with dismay by Green Party representatives in Kerry.
On Friday (10 March) the Court of Appeal ruled that an attempt by the state to ban trawler fishing within six nautical miles of shore was illegal.
Cleo Murphy, the Green Party’s Kenmare representative said the practice of trawlers fishing in Kenmare Bay is destroying marine life on the seabed and robbing inshore fishermen of their livelihood.
“One local fisherman told me he now has to put down 400 shrimp pots to get the same catch that 150 pots would yield a few years back,” she said.
“This is bad for angling, bad for tourism, and bad for local incomes. Coastal communities around Kerry depend on a healthy marine life. We need the state to act quickly to protect our precious bays and estuaries. I’ve written to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine to take action, now that the court has ruled.”
Green Party Dingle representative Peadar Ó Fionnáin says just because two fishermen have won a court action on the right to this practice doesn’t mean they have to exercise that right.
“Most local fishermen here know that inshore trawling for sprat is disastrous both financially and ecologically. Thankfully, most of them are refraining from it, but others are intent on killing the golden goose for short term gain.
“This finding is a really disappointing setback for sustainable fishing. The Department of Agriculture Food and Marine needs to act urgently to get a new legal ban together and in the meantime sharpen the tools at its immediate disposal to regulate inshore fishing.”