For 2020 the workplan will address the three Principles:
1. Principle 1 Stock Management
2. Principle 2 Minimising Environmental Impact
3. Principle 3 Management System
Further details under each of the principles are given below:
Principle 1: Stock Management
A 2018 MSC pre-assessment found that in the Irish Sea, the Porcupine and the Labadie areas fishing mortality was at levels close to MSY but that in other areas including the Aran Grounds and the Smalls that fishing mortality levels were too high. The availability of data to enable the setting of harvest reference points was insufficient in some areas. The objective of the FIP for 2020 regarding Principle 1 is to progress efforts towards achieving levels of fishing consistent with MSY.
- In collaboration with Marine Institute scientists, identify the main challenges to achieving MSY in the fishery.
- Identify current initiatives industry are involved in to improve sustainability and move towards MSY. An example of this is the selectivity measures required under the North Western Waters Discard Plan for 2019 (EU Regulation 2034 of 2018).
Principle 2: Environment
The MSC pre-assessment identified the poor stock status and high levels of bycatch of both Whiting in the Irish Sea and Cod in the Celtic Sea as problems for the prawn fishery under Principle 2. The objective of the FIP for 2020 regarding Principle 2 is to improve knowledge and develop a strategy to reduce bycatches of Irish Sea Whiting and Celtic Sea Cod in the prawn fishery. A further objective is to minimize the presence of plastic and other litter in the marine environment.
- To improve understanding and knowledge of selectivity measures aimed at reducing bycatches of Whiting and Cod.
- Collaborate with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) to inform fishermen of the results of gear trials and to promote uptake of gears with favourable results.
- FIP members will be required to participate in the BIM Fishing For Litter program
Principle 3: Management system
The MSC pre-assessment identified the key problem under Principle 3 as the lack of evidence that decision-making processes in the fishery are capable of producing outcomes consistent with P1 and P2. Examples given include high fishing mortality levels in some areas and control problems relating to the fishery in the Porcupine. The objective of the FIP for 2020 regarding Principle 3 is to contribute to improved management in the prawn fishery.
- Identify and participate in key scientific, policy making and regulatory forums where the FIP can coordinate efforts towards implementing the P1 MSY strategy and improving the status of the fishery.
- Identify how the industry can contribute to improved management of our Prawn Fisheries