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Marine Committee to meet leading expert on forage fish species

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine will tomorrow be briefed on an important scientific report on the special vulnerabilities of forage fish.

16 October 2013  
Forage fish make up about one third of the world’s marine fish catch and are small to medium-sized species that include anchovies, herring and sardines.

Briefing the Committee will be Dr Ellen Pikitch, Professor and Executive Director of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University in the United States. She chaired the multi-national task force who produced a report entitled Little Fish, Big Impact.

Chairman of the Committee Andrew Doyle TD says: “The Committee looks forward to the opportunity to engage with Dr Pikitch tomorrow on a significant piece of research, which has been described as the most comprehensive global analysis of forage fish species to date. The report found that conventional management has led to worrying declines in this species, which form a critical link in the marine food chain. Accordingly, the task force recommends cutting catch rates in half in many ecosystems and doubling the minimum biomass of forage fish that must be left in the water. The Committee will be keen to assess any policy steps that may be required to safeguard the future sustainability of Ireland’s fishing grounds.”

The meeting takes place tomorrow Thursday 17 October at 11am in Committee Room 4 LH 2000.

Public proceedings can be followed live here.

View Committee Membership.

For further information please contact:  
Paul Hand,
Houses of the Oireachtas,
Communications Unit,
Leinster House,
Dublin 2
P: +353 1 618 4484
M: +353  87 694 9926