The potentially lucrative fisheries of the high value Spurdog species could re-open due to the evidence of recovery in numbers.
Following representations from Iascarai Intire Cois Coiste, Independent MEP Marian Harkin explored the possibility for the re-opening of fishing for Spurdog. “However despite the official acknowledgement that Spurdog numbers have increased significantly it will require a decision of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) to confirm that full fishing can recommence”, she said.
The ICES determined the state of all fish stocks, she said and its advice would determine if, and when, fishing for Spurdog could recommence. “Unfortunately, other than a small experimental quota, open fishing will not happen until 2019 at the earliest while a similar quota for the UK was not taken up due to the conditions imposed”, she said.
Marian Harkin pledged to maintain a focus on the re-opening of Spurdog fishing as the species offered a significant opportunity for the small boat fishermen whose activities contributed significantly to sustainability of coastal communities.