From The Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources on the 16th December
The Minister of State (MOS) has received representations from Mr Tony Killeen TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food regarding a proposal by The Federation of Irish Fishermen (FIF) to allow Irish commercial fishing vessels to target sea bass and land it when caught in offshore waters. FIF proposal is that they propose that Irish regulations be changed to permit Irish commercial fishing vessels to retain and land sea bass caught south of (51.30’N) in area VII. This area is approx 50 km off the SE coast of Ireland and the UK advice for 2007 states that this stock is in a healthy state. FIF in making this proposal is taking a precautionary approach to avoid any fishing whatsoever of the Irish inshore stock. If the sea bass fishery is opened in the area south of the 51.30’N, FIF is fully committed to engaging with the Marine Institute through the Industry/Science partnership to work at carrying out a full assessment on the stock North of this position in area VII.