PETITION: Save Ireland's Tuna Ground

Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:31 am

Not sure if this have been posted before - just discovered it last night.

Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:41 pm

I think we may be facing more of a threat than imagined. I have been trying for about 2 weeks now to get an answer from the CFB and the Minister for the Marine as to why the latest regulations governing tuna fishing are not a move to allow commercial tuna longlining (with no limit on how close to shore this is done).

The CFB issuee a press release quoting the Minister as saying the new regulation was a boost for recreational angling for tuna.

The regulation permits tuna fishing with any gear other than nets - letting commercial longliners etc into the picture, if my reading is correct.

As usual, since neither of these bodies want to answer the question, they simply refuse to acknowledge the question.

Since the regulation requires that an application has to be made to the Minister's office and an 'authorisation' granted to allow tuna fishing by any individual or vessel, my next trick will be to request under the Freedom Of Information act to see who all has applied and in what capacity. Refusal to acknowledge will then be an offence, rather than bad manners.

I'm also looking at writing to a number of the commercial and recreational fishing press.

Yet again we have handed as recreational anglers a done deal by the Minister, supposedly to our vast benefit - without ever being consulted.

Must we wait until the commercial fishing lobby ask the minister to ban or licence or otherwise restrict recreational angling (and gets it done) before anyone speaks up?

Tuna Fishing New Regulations

Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:11 pm

Hi Sandman,

I am new to this but do you really think it is possible to longline for tuna off the coast of Ireland? I always thought that these stories about bluefin tuna catches off the Donegal coast were grossly exaggerated. I have "googled" for info and in an explanatory note the act says

"The effect of these Regulations is to allow for the fishing for tuna and certain other species by means of fishing gears other than any type of gill net, driftnets, bottom set gill nets, trammel nets and entangling nets. These Regulations come into operation on 8 July 2005."

So I guess this allows longlining.

Please keep us informed on any answers you get from the powers that be.
WE should all watch out for these things before we end up with no fishing.

Good luck

Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:39 am

Hi Pjmur,

I don't know whether longlining would be commercially viable off the North West coast, but I have anecdotal evidence that 30-40 miles offshore commercial potters have spotted huge shoals of tuna on the surface in the Autumn times. This is no secret and it wouldn't surprise me in light of the recent legislation if there weren't a number of boats all geared up and ready to go - I'm enough of a cynic to think that commercial fishermen asked for that legislation to open up a fishery and the Minister's ploy was to spin this as something of benefit to recreational anglers as a bit of a smokescreen, aided and abetted by the CFB.

One thing does appear to be for sure, commercial longlining for tuna is now legal.

I don't seriously consider that the Minister got into work one day, found himself short of work and decided on some tuna related legislation as a good way to pass the morning - or that some civil servant dreamt this up and the Minister blindly signed it into law without reading it.

What worries me most about the legislation and press release/quotes from the Minister is that it's forcing recreational anglers into applying for an 'authorisation' to sea fish (for certain tuna species). If we accept this without protest, the 'authorisation' may well become a permit or licence we have to pay for, next extended to all sport fish (tope, bass, mullet) and then to anything with gills. Voila! Minister gets rod licences for sea anglers in by the back door, another tax for the government, anglers still have no consultation process or voice with the legislators. It's the old story in this country - bend over and take it.

Some day, when anglers are priced out of their own sport, a packet of fish-fingers costs ?10-?15 and your target species if you can afford to fish is likely to be mini-species (rather like the mediterranian is now, btw) we'll all be wondering how fish stocks got into such a state and why nobody did anything at the time. Maybe Eddie Hobbs will be able to explain it on TV. He'll be exhorting you to send a mackerel to the Minister in a padded envelope. Who knows, maybe it'll work....when there are no fish left anyway.

Both the Minister's office and the CFB have so far failed to respond to my letters of inquiry, so it's time for plan B. Results to follow, at the usual governmental snail's pace - except where it comes to passing laws suiting the commercial fishing industry.

There endeth the rant for this morning. Will keep you all updated as I hear anything.

Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:05 am

"Eamon Ryan of the Green Party is pretty good on fisheries issues - so I dropped him the following letter....maybe he can get an answer out of the Minister....


Thanks for your response and apologies for the delay in getting back to you. We're all quite busy on the conservation front, mainly trying to find out precisely what our current government and EU partners are at regarding fisheries policies. It has made for a pretty grim study so far.

We would be pleased to meet with you at some point in the future when we have formalised more of our concerns regarding fisheries policy.

However, there is a matter of more pressing urgency that you might perhaps raise the next time Minister Pat Gallagher is taking questions.

You might be aware that in the last issue of the Marine Times (I see they published an article by yourself there too), the Minister published the following regulation which was accompanied by a statement from the CFB quoting the Minister as he appears to indicate that this legislation is solely for the benefit of recreational anglers:-


""tuna"" means Albacore (Thunnus alalunga), listed in the Annex, as well as Northern Albacore (Germo alalunga), referred to in Annex IE of Council Regulation (EC) No. 27/2005 of 22 December 20042;

""?I am delighted to have been able to open up these new species to Sea Anglers. Sea Angling is extremely socially valuable as both a widely available and healthy form of recreation. Perhaps most importantly Sea Angling is a sustainable activity and I hope this new regulation will enable many more people to experience the quiet enjoyment Sea Angling can provide?, said Minister for the Marine, Mr. Pat ?The Cope? Gallagher, TD.

And from the CFB press release:-

""The result of this regulation (S.I. 353 of 2005 ? Sea Fisheries (Tuna and Certain Other Species Fishing) Regulations 2005 ? PRN A5/1102) is to allow for the fishing for tuna and certain other species by means of fishing gears other than the type of gill net, driftnets, bottom set gill nets, trammel nets and entangling nets. This regulation is in operation since the 8 July 2005 and offers Irish and International anglers the opportunity to fish for bluefin tuna on rod and line from various sea angling centres nationwide.""

Eamon, what concerns me is that, (despite written requests for clarification both to the CFB and the Minister's Office both of which have been ignored), this legislation appears to pave the way for a commercial longline or other line based fishery for tuna.

Based on the damage done to West Atlantic tuna species by the commercial fisheries in the US & Canada, we really do not what the same to happen to the East Atlantic/Mediterranian tuna stocks, which are already being exploited in criminal and unsustainable manner in the form of tuna ranching (they capture wild juvenile fish and fatten them in a similar manner to farming salmon) whereby since the fish is not 'landed' when caught, it gets classed as farmed fish and the impact of the juvenile removal is not taken into account in any management plan.

Apparently the Marine Times editor has described reaction to this regulation by the Minister as ""controversial"". The whole piece of legislation looks vague and rushed, as did the CFB press release, which seems a bit confused on species involved. Bluefin tuna is a different species from Albacore, and were permits or 'authorisations' ever required for any sort of recreational tuna anglers in this country? Because they are now, as far as I can see. What impact this might have on our fledgling recreational tuna angling tourism industry remains to be seen.

Can you put the Minister under pressure to clarify the purpose of this legislation and if it is to introduce a commercial tuna fishery, how many authorisations have been applied for, granted, are anticipated etc? I'm considering requesting this information under the Freedom of Information Act. Do you think there is any point in this? Unfortunately, I can't use this tactic on the CFB, who appear to have a long history of ignoring the public when asked 'difficult' questions.


Pat Boyle
SACN Regional Co-Ordinator (Ireland)
Visit us at"

Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:03 am

Just in case anyone is in doubt, the legwork on the feasability of this tuna fishery has long since been done. See ... ode_id=791

I guess now that the legislation is in place, everyone can apply for an authorisation to join this fishery. It'll look nice out west with all those colourful European flags....

Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:41 pm

The first Albacore Tuna hunt of the season got underway (too early!)

See [url][/url]

Tight Lines - leon

mooney goes wild

Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:24 pm

yep - mooney goes wild on one had a big section dedicated to this 2 saturdays ago - had all the hacks in applauding it for the anglers but had their concerns for catch release etc. :roll: :roll: :roll:

never a mention about longlining etc.

good to know

Sandman there are no flies on you

Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:50 pm

"Yup, it's amazing how much gets done for or affecting anglers in this country by various ""interested"" groups who then get a rent-a-crowd who know nothing about anything to clap like trained seals and spout the usual sound bites along established party lines.

What's flabbergasting is that nobody seems to ask anglers like ourselves what we think or need.

At least, I'm an angler and I've never been consulted, surveyed or anything.

Has any angler out there? Because the first moves to what could be a sea angling rod licence are now enshrined in law and the precedent set, all without anglers saying a word.

You were warned..."