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Recreational Crab Fishing Hitting Commercial

Recreational pot fishing is now a contentious issue for commercial fishermen who claim that those engaging in “recreational activities” are fishing large amounts of pots, as well as keeping under-sized and V-notched lobsters for consumption, which is illegal and undermining the stock enhancement work of commercial fishing. It is claimed that ‘recreational opportunists’ are also declawing all crab, even those under the minimum landing size, which is also breaking current fishing regulations.

“We have so-called recreational fishermen fishing close to some of our gear and they have at least 50 or 60 pots out,” one fisherman told the MARINE TIMES. “This is highly unfair on licenced commercial fishermen who have to invest heavily in trying to make their fishery a viable one.”

Read more about the problems being caused by recreational fishing in the August edition of the MARINE TIMES.

There Is Money For A Lot Of Things But Not For Fishermen

There is nothing specific and meaningful in the grants worth €1.2 million to 93 Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAG) Projects that will help the hundreds of inshore fishing enterprises which face a very uncertain future, says the National Inshore Fishermen’s Association.

The FLAG grants have given nothing to help fishermen according to NIFA.

“We have been making a case since March but we have got nothing in return and our members are asking to know what supports are going to be given to them. We made submissions and a lot of representations and the previous Minister told us when we asked about EMFF money that there was not much left to be allocated and then we see that there is money for other projects, but not directly to help the fishermen who need support. The tie-up scheme has been a disaster really. Many schemes were not available when in the pandemic they were needed.

“Then the €1.2 million in grants was announced by Minister Calleary for FLAG projects. There was grant aid for materials for painters and decorators by the looks of it and for paddle boardings and for other projects when we were told that money had run out, that there was none left.”