The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), the sea-fisheries and seafood safety regulator and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), the agency responsible for the inland fisheries and sea angling resource, are reminding recreational vessel owners and operators that it remains illegal to target, catch, land or sell Bluefin tuna...
A controlled Bluefin catch and release fishery will operate in 2019 for a limited number of skippers authorised by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment (DCCAE). Authorised skippers are permitted to catch, tag and release Bluefin Tuna under Tuna CHART, a new pilot data collection programme. Further information on the programme can accessed at http://www.fisheriesireland.ie/bluefin
Only these authorised skippers are legally permitted to advertise fishing/charter trips targeting Bluefin. The authorised skippers, based in Counties Cork, Clare, Galway, Sligo and Donegal, are participating in this new pilot programme which aims to increase knowledge of the behaviour and abundance of Bluefin Tuna in Irish waters. The programme has been developed by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Marine Institute in partnership with the SFPA, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment.
Susan Steele, Chair of the SFPA said: “Targeting Bluefin Tuna in Ireland remains illegal except under this new pilot scheme which is aimed at increasing our understanding of the behaviour of this iconic species in the waters around Ireland. The SFPA is working closely with our partners in the IFI, the Marine Institute, DCCAE and DAFM to ensure the ongoing protection of Bluefin Tuna in our waters. “
The SFPA has legally authorised Officers of Inland Fisheries Ireland to perform the duties of Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers within this fishery, specifically in relation to monitoring compliance with the law within the Bluefin Tuna fishery.