The Master of a French registered fishing vessel has been remanded to Cork Circuit Court on June 8th next on a bond of €67,000. The vessel was detained by the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), the sea-fisheries regulator, on Friday morning last at Castletownbere following the detection and seizure by Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers of the SFPA of over one tonne of spurdog or piked dogfish (Squalus acanthias), a prohibited species.
Spurdog, a type of shark, often travel in groups which makes them an easier target for fisheries. However, following many years of high harvest rates, fishing is prohibited in all EU waters due to the current low stock levels.
As spurdogs are slow to reproduce, it will take time for levels to recover from overfishing, according to Dr Susan Steele, Chair of the SFPA. “While there are some signs of recovery from the historical lows of the mid 2000s, the decline in stock levels was so severe that further time is necessary to allow them to recover sufficiently,” she said.