The SFPA was established under the provisons of the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 and is Ireland's competent authority for Seafood Safety and Sea-Fisheries Protection. The SFPA’s mission is:
"The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority is committed to the effective and fair regulation of the seafishing and seafood sectors that fall within our mandate. This means all fishing vessels operating within Irelands 200‐mile limit, Irish fishing vessels wherever they operate, and all seafood produced in Ireland wherever it is marketed.”
Based in Clonakilty, County Cork, the SFPA has a number of offices in the major ports around the coast, at Killybegs, Ros a’ Mhíl, An Daingean, Castletownbere, Dunmore East and Howth.
The continued health of Ireland’s economy and coastal communities is dependent upon our natural resources being used sustainably. It is important for Ireland to have well managed fisheries and the SFPA will continue to engage with the fishing industry to promote compliance with the essential requirements of the legislation.
SFPA supports a sustainable and profitable commercial fishing sector, while protecting and conserving fisheries resources for long-term exploitation.
Local communities play a vital role in protecting our fisheries resources and ensuring that bad practices or illegal fishing activities are effectively addressed. With this in mind the SFPA have introduced a confidential telephone line: 1890 76 76 76. We encourage anyone who is aware of any suspect activity to contact us on this number with the relevant information.
As stated above the Authority was established in 2007 as an independent, statutory non-commercial public body under the provisions of the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006. It is governed by an executive structure known as the Authority. An executive governing structure is distinguishable from the more common iteration of a state agency board insofar as its members are full time. Executive structures also tend to be smaller in terms of membership. The Authority consists of a Chair and two Authority Members. The SFPA also has a senior management team consisting of the Authority members the Director of Operations and the Senior Managers. The SFPA is a public body under the aegis of the Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food. Its functions are described under Section 43 of the Act as follows:
1. To secure efficient and effective enforcement of sea-fisheries law and seafood Safety law,
2. To promote compliance with and deter contraventions of sea-fisheries law and food safety law,
3. To detect contraventions of sea-fisheries law and food safety law,
4. To provide information to the sea-fisheries and seafood sectors on sea-fisheries law and food safety law and relevant matters within the remit of the Authority, through the Consultative Committee established under section 48 of the above Act or by any other means it considers appropriate,
5. To advise the Minister in relation to policy on effective implementation of sea-fisheries law and food safety law:
6. To provide assistance and information to the Minister in relation to the remit of the Authority,
7. To collect and report data in relation to sea-fisheries and food safety as required by the Minister and under Community law,
8. To represent or assist in the representation of the State at national, Community and international fora as requested by the Minister, and
9. To engage in any other activities relating to the functions of the Authority as may be approved of by the Minister.