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New CEO appointed at Inland Fisheries Ireland

The Board of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has announced the appointment of Francis O’ Donnell to the position of Chief Executive Officer. Francis is currently Director of the Western River Basin District with IFI. He will take up his position in the coming weeks. Prior to rejoining the inland fisheries service, Francis was the CEO of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO). He has also worked with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. Inland Fisheries Ireland promotes supports, facilitates and advises the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. Inland Fisheries Ireland also develops policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling and advises the Minister on same.

Reopening of National Fisheries Colleges

The BIM National Fisheries Colleges of Ireland reopened last month. The colleges, in Greencastle, Co Donegal and Castletownbere, Co Cork had temporarily closed due to restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in March. The reopening coincides with the colleges' recent achievement of ISO 9001:2015 certification; the internationally recognised standard for quality management systems. This certification further ensures that the training received by learners will be of a consistently high standard across all training sites including the two colleges and mobile coastal training units. Additionally, BIM’s updated Quality Assurance System, for the delivery of programmes leading to awards on the National Framework of Qualifications was recently approved by QQI (Quality & Qualifications Ireland).

Responsibility for the development of offshore Islands has been formally transferred within government to the Department for Rural and Community Development. Comhdháil Oileán na hEireann, the Islands’ Federation has welcomed what it describes as “the clarification of departmental responsibility.”

• Read the full details of the Comhdhail response in the Islands Notebook in the October edition of the Marine Times.

Thanks From Marine Institute

Marine Institute Chief Executive Dr Paul Connolly. has thanked the one thousand Irish people who took part in a Europe-wide citizen survey on the health of the oceans, coasts and inland waters.

“Regenerating our ocean and waters is vital for human existence, wellbeing and our livelihoods, and citizens are crucial to achieving this mission. We thank the people of Ireland for engaging with this mission and outlining their priorities for achieving a healthy ocean.”

Ireland was one of two EU member states (along with Romania) selected for the Mission Starfish 2030 survey, which aims to inform policies on the “right type” of blue economy.