Wednesday, 16 December 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
363. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the establishment of a multi-agency forum (details supplied) will be supported to address the challenges facing small fishermen in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43744/20]
The South West Regional Inshore Fisheries Forum (RIFF) covers the coastal zone of Cork and Kerry and is part of a network of six multi-stakeholder Regional Forums around the Irish coast. These Regional Forums, along with the National Inshore Fisheries Forum (NIFF), are consultative bodies, established in 2014, to foster industry-led development of proposals for the management of non-quota stocks within six nautical miles of the Irish shore.
Last year, the NIFF finalised the Strategy for the Irish Inshore Fisheries Sector 2019-2023, the first industry-led blueprint for how the sector could develop in coming years. Each of the RIFFs, including the South West, fed into this process. BIM is leading implementation of the strategy in partnership with the NIFF. An implementation group, which includes State and industry representatives, has identified priority actions under the strategy and is monitoring and driving implementation progress. The strategy is available online at the Inshore Fisheries Forum website, .
Last week, I was pleased to have my first meeting with the NIFF, along with representatives from the Marine Institute, the SFPA and BIM. Industry representatives outlined the challenges facing the inshore sector this year. The Programme for Government strongly commits to supporting the inshore community and the wider seafood sector in achieving its potential and I look forward to working with the NIFF on how we can do this together.