Flapper Skate (Dipturus intermedius) – Photo credit, Marc Dando
SFPA to Discuss Key Role in the Protection of Skates Stocks
The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) will participate at the second Regional Skate Working Group Conference in Galway on the 2nd and 3rd March 2023. The conference, organised by Queens University Belfast and the Marine Institute, will bring together international specialists, government agencies, and other stakeholders to discuss the protection and management of endangered skate species in the region.
Skates such as the Flapper Skate and Blue Skate are endangered and have been prohibited from commercial fishing for almost 15 years. Skates are required to be fished in accordance with Irish and EU regulations and this ensures the long-term sustainability of these stocks. The conference will focus on the protection of these species and other endangered skates in our waters. The discussions will also highlight the role of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the protection of these species and how best to legally protect them.
The SFPA's participation in the conference demonstrates their commitment to sustainable fishing practices and the protection of endangered species. They will join other leading authorities in sharks, skates, and rays, including the Irish Elasmobranch Group, the Shark Trust in the UK, and university academics.
The SFPA said:
"We are honoured to be a part of this conference and to be able to share our expertise and learn from other international experts. Our participation demonstrates our continued commitment to sustainable fishing practices and the protection of endangered species.”
To ensure the long-term sustainability of skate stocks, it is essential they are fished in strict accordance with Irish and EU regulations. Accurately recording the species of skates that are caught enables more accurate stock assessments which provide clear scientific advice. The SFPA’s role in the promotion of compliance with sea-fisheries law and food safety assists in ensuring the long-term sustainability of skate stocks.”
The conference is an important platform for stakeholders to discuss critical issues around the management of marine resources and the protection of endangered species. The participation of international experts from England, Scotland, and the Netherlands further underscores the significance of the conference.
About the SFPA
The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) is the independent statutory body responsible for the regulation of the sea-fisheries and the sea-food production sectors. It promotes compliance with the EU Common Fisheries Policy, sea-fisheries law and food safety law relating to fish and fish products, verifies compliance and, where necessary, enforces it. Its mandate covers all fishing vessels operating within Ireland’s 200-mile limit, over 2,000 Irish registered fishing vessels wherever they operate, and all seafood produced in Ireland’s seafood processing companies. The SFPA operates through a network of regional port offices situated at Ireland’s main fishery harbours. For further information visit: www.sfpa.ie