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Strategic Relationships

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) works closely with a range of partners in order to deliver its mandate. We intend to build and maintain these critical relationships into the future in order to maximise opportunities for co‐operation and collaboration in service delivery.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) is an important stakeholder, responsible for policy formulation, corporate governance oversight, and resource allocation. In addition, many DAFF divisions are engaged in implementation of regulations involving a direct interface with SFPA, eg quota and fishing effort management, food safety, food imports including illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is Ireland’s central competent authority for food safety across the food chain from primary production to consumption. The functions of the SFPA in respect of food safety are detailed in a service contract agreement with the FSAI.

The Sea Fisheries Protection Consultative Committee was established under Section 48 of the Sea‐Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 for the purposes of consultations and liaison with the sea‐fisheries and seafood sectors and other relevant interests on matters relating to the functions of the SFPA. The Consultative Committee consists of 14 members, appointed by the Minister, representing the sea‐fishing catching, inshore fishing, seafood processing and aquaculture sectors and others with relevant marine expertise.

The SFPA has a Service Level Agreement with the Department of Defence for the provision of fishery protection services by the Naval Service and Air Corps. The SFPA produces an annual Fisheries Control Plan, which outlines the benchmark requirements for inspections at sea by the Naval Service and surveillance by the Air Corps. The annual plan uses agreed risk management strategies that produce baseline inspection benchmarks for all vessels operating in our EEZ. These levels of inspection are continuously developed using strategies including intelligence information, fleet profiling and administrative crosschecks. The SFPA works closely with the Naval Service to ensure that such inspection levels are maintained to ensure that there is a balanced and appropriate level of control on all fisheries activities in our areas of responsibility.

The SFPA works in close co‐operation with An Garda Síochána, in roadside vehicle inspections and fisheries‐related investigations. Sea‐Fisheries Protection officers also jointly undertake specific enforcement actions with members of An Garda Síochána particularly in relation to the detention of fishing vessels.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directs and supervises public prosecutions of cases in respect of sea‐fisheries legislation and gives the SFPA general direction and advice in relation to specific cases.

The Marine Institute (MI) is Ireland’s national agency for marine research, technology development and innovation. In food safety, the MI are control partners providing extensive analytical services and scientific advice. In fishery control, the MI and SFPA collaborate in the area of data‐flows to best inform scientific research.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has a key role to develop the Irish seafood industry by providing technical expertise, business support, funding, training and promoting responsible environmental practice. SFPA and BIM collaborate on many different aspects that affect the fishing industry including the management of inshore fisheries, Industry training, aquaculture, fishing gear technology and fisheries statistics.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is charged with ensuring the protection and conservation of fisheries resources in inland waters, and sea angling. The IFI and the SFPA cooperate with view to overall efficiency of state inspection services, and specifically in the area of inshore fisheries control operations.

The SFPA also works closely with a number of international partners including European institutions and their agencies that have key roles in sea fisheries and seafood safety:

The Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) is the Commission department responsible for EU policy on food and health and for monitoring the implementation of related laws.

Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) is the Commission department responsible for the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy and of the Integrated Maritime Policy. In this role, DG MARE participates with the MS in a number of key international fisheries management structures including the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), the International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA).

The Naval Service is the State's principal seagoing agency with a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements. It is tasked with a variety of defence and other roles. The Naval Service provides the maritime component of the State's Defence capabilities and is the State's principal seagoing agency. It protects Ireland’s interests at and from the sea and protecting Ireland's Sea Lines of Communications, Fisheries and offshore resources. The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps.

The European Fisheries Control Agency is a European Union agency. The agency’s mission is to promote the highest common standards for control, inspection and surveillance under the CFP. Its primary role is to organise coordination and cooperation between national control and inspection activities so that the rules of the CFP are respected and applied effectively.