HOWTH FISHING FLEET [OCTOBER 2015]--109444
It it was a beautiful morning today so I decided to pay a visit to Howth. As it is late in the year I had expected the place to be deserted but the harbour was buzzing with activity and all the restaurants were full.
Taking our seabed area into account, Ireland is actually one of the largest EU countries with sovereign or exclusive rights over one of the largest sea to land ratios (over 10:1) of any EU member state.
As an island nation fishing has always been economically and socially important to Ireland.
The natural, clean water around Ireland’s 7,500km of coastline has provided exceptionally good seafood for thousands of years, and it’s important to protect it for future generations.
The sailing boats, spears and makeshift nets our ancestors fished with didn’t pose any threat to jobs, the coastal environment or fish stocks, but modern fishing vessels and methods do.
Commercial trawlers can now travel vast distances across the ocean and some are fitted with hydraulically powered winches capable of scooping up several tonnes of fish in a single net.
During much of the 20th century relentless fishing and marine pollution pushed some fish stocks to the brink of extinction, making it necessary to regulate the fishing industry.
Today, the interests of Irish fishermen, fishing communities and consumers of fish products are supported through the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) that’s negotiated and agreed between all 28 Member States.
It’s often a controversial subject in Ireland but the CFP’s main aim is to protect all of Europe’s seafood industry and marine environment for future generations.