A time frame this survey is to be implemented has not been not fixed yet but when the group put a plan in place it will move with pace. This survey comes on the back of a directive from the EU regulations EC 199/2008 which compels the Irish Government to carry out same. The survey is being funded by the E.U. and Donal Kennedy was delighted to be at the meeting, representing the I.C.S.A. and be part of the steering group along with Luke Aston.
Following this meeting it brought back the time where the I.C.S.A. fought to make sure that the E.U. back in 2008 were not going to introduce a quota on recreational fish catches. The I.C.S.A. were successful in having the E.U. state that they were not going to introduce a quota and were basically leaving it up to the Irish Government to deal with the issue.
The concern now is, that it has reared its head again under this directive which compels the Irish Government to carry out the survey and following their findings, issue quotas etc or not, should the survey show that recreational fishing is impacting on fish stocks.
We need to be part of this survey so that we can record and have recorded the fish charter skippers catch or release for the season. Doing so will show that what we catch is very small and by no way have impacts on fish stocks compared to the commercial fleet.
Also by taking part in the survey we will be able to show what we catch or release and not allow the E.U. dictate what they think we catch or what impact we have on fish stocks. Whereby the E.U. could put a figure on our recreational fishing catches (which would not be a true reading) and maybe state then, that a quota should have to be introduced. Where would the quota come from? From the commercial sector which in turn would cause issues.
It is important that we get as many charter skippers signed up to the I.C.S.A., take part in the survey so that we have an input on our future.
Terms of reference (ToR) for the Marine Recreational Angling Survey of Ireland Steering Group