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Natura 2000 Regulations

Natura sites designated by Ireland have the potential to impact on fisheries and aquaculture in those areas, and therefore need to be controlled and protected through permits and notices.

In order to allow for the continuing activity of fisheries and aquaculture in Natura sites, the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry has published Statutory Instruments that regulate and control by means of permits activities in these areas.

The European Communities (Habitats & Birds) (Sea Fisheries) Regulations 2009 provide for the Minister to finalise and publish a fisheries Natura plan, the process whereby this plan is published including representation is contained in SI 346-2009.

Where the Minister publishes a Natura plan he/she may issue a declaration, contravention of a Natura declaration constitutes an offence. the purpose of a Natura declaration is to provide for the regulation of activities in the area subject to the plan, this will include:

  • Fishing by class or description
  • Prohibition of fishing gear  by class
  • Fishing by sea fishing boats of sea fishing boats by class or description
  • Limiting fishing by means other than sea fishing boats
  • Regulation including times, species

Natura Permits

Where the Natura Declaration requires the regulation of activities in the designated area by means of a permit, then the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food will issue Natura Permits. Further information is available at this link: