Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 5 Jun 1980

Vol. 321 No. 11

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Herring Fishing Regulations.


asked the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry if he will outline the regulations regarding fishing for small herrings; and by whom the differences between herrings and sprat are distinguished.

The legal provisions concerning small herrings are contained in (a) sections 225 to 331 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act, 1959, which apply to all undersized sea-fish; (b) the Sea Fisheries (Conservation and Rational Exploitation) (No. 5) Order, 1978 (S.I. No. 243 of 1978) which, among other things, prohibits the landing of herring of less than 20 centimetres in length; and (c) the Fishing Nets (Regulation of Mesh) Order, 1978 (S.I. No. 244 of 1978), which includes herrings among the species of fish for which a net with a mesh of not less than 16 millimetres diagonal measurement may be used.

In any case of difficulty in distinguishing between small herring and sprat, identification is made by officers of my Department.

Where is the identification made?

The officers of the Department make it. Sometimes there is a biological test under microscope, I am told.

That could be a bit tough on the fishermen.

These tests are made by officers of my Department, biologists.

How many biologists has the Minister in his Department?

I am aware of ten, but I am sure that there are more.

Are they all Irish, no foreigners or Northern Irish people?


asked the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry if purse-seining will be allowed inside the Irish 12-mile limit by Irish boats.

There is a total ban on purse-seining for herring within 12 miles from baselines. Following consultation with the interested bodies, I am at present considering what further restrictions will be desirable in relation to other species.

When does the Minister hope to have a result from these negotiations?

As soon as possible.

Within a month?


May I ask the Minister when and in exactly what circumstances the ban came into force? Is it from a national point of view, or was it an EEC decision? Is there a time limit on it or a question that this ban may be lifted?

The ban on herring fishing?

On purse-seining.

The ban on purse-seining is within 12 miles from baselines. It is dependent on ICES information which is discussed each year. It is to conserve stocks.

Is there not a situation that this ban as it presently stands is to end at the end of 1981?

We have only one Irish purse-seiner.

And there are five more coming in.

There are more purseseiners coming in.

There are more coming in, but they will not be here for some months yet. By the time they are ready to operate, we will have made a decision.

Is this ban permanent, or is there a time limit on it?

It could not be considered as permanent.

This is an EEC regulation.

Yes, it is.