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Representation in Ireland

Fisheries in Ireland

The interests of Ireland’s fishermen, fishing communities, the marine environment and consumers of fish products are supported by being part of the European Union and working together with other Member States to protect our seas and oceans.  

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)

Benefits of the CFP

  • The CFP is eliminating discarding, the practice of throwing unwanted fish overboard either because they are too small or the fisherman has no quota for the catch.
  • The CFP places the EU as a frontrunner in the global fight against illegal unreported and unregulated fishing through international fisheries law.
  • The EU is taking action to combat the estimated eight million tonnes of plastics that end up in the sea each year, much of it from the fishing industry.

The Common Fisheries Policy

European Commission evaluation of the Common Fisheries Policy

The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

The EMFF is the fund for implementing the EU's maritime and fisheries policies. It’s used to help fishermen transition to sustainable fishing and support coastal communities in diversifying their economies.

The fund co-finances projects along with national funding, with each Member State allocated a share of the budget based on the size of its fishing industry.

The EMFF is being replaced by the new European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) for 2021-2027. It will have a budget of €6.108 billion which will be used to particularly support small-scale coastal fisheries and vessels up to 24 meters, as well as to promote aquaculture.

With the new European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, we will be able to invest in improving the health, safety and working conditions on board fishing vessels, while at the same time ensuring that the EU fleet is sustainable.

Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius

The EMFF helps Ireland fulfil its fisheries obligations both globally and locally and it’s implemented through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Marine Agencies & Programmes Division.

There was approximately €239.2 million available to Ireland under the EMFF 2014-2020 to support fishermen, the seafood industry and coastal communities.

Targeted EU funding is helping support the fisheries industry through the coronavirus pandemic with:

• Emergency aid for fisheries and aquaculture

• New ambitious EMFF measures

• A €500 million boost from the Just Transition Mechanism

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Ireland 2014-2020

European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund

Just Transition Mechanism

Emergency aid for fisheries and aquaculture

Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs)

Examples of Irish FLAG projects

  • Locals on Achill Island developed the Achill Experience, Aquarium and Visitor Centre in a disused building, creating six full-time and three part-time jobs for local residents, mostly relatives of fishermen, in the process.
  • Locals living and working near Galway Bay set up Cuan Beo to reverse a decline in the quality of its famous shellfish producing waters.
  • Ireland FLAG West assisted the transition of seaweed business Blath na Mara from a source of supplementary income for one person into a viable enterprise now employing four full-time people on Inis Mór.

FARNET - the European Fisheries Areas Network

Fisheries Local Action Groups in Ireland

Fish facts

Latest fisheries news