Conservation Measures

Various conservation measures are currently used to manage fisheries in Ireland.

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A number of measures are in place to ensure that Irish fisheries remain in a healthy state. Some of these are legislative requirements, and directly affect Irish langoustine fisheries, while other methods indirectly affect the fisheries

Directly affects Irish langoustine fisheries

Total allowable catches

Total Allowable Catches (TACs) are catch limits that are set for most significant commercial fish stocks including Irish langoustine. TACs are proposed by the European Commission on the basis of scientific advice and are set annually. The TAC is divided up into quotas for each country. Ireland has a relatively stable quota for Irish langoustine of around 8,000 tonnes.

Minimum landing size

The Minimum Landing Size (MLS) is species specific and is the smallest length at which it is legal to keep or sell a fish. The minimum landing size for Irish langoustine from the Irish Sea (VIa and VIIa) has been set at 70 mm total length, while the remainder of area VII (i.e. Celtic Sea, Western Waters and the Porcupine Bank) is 85 mm total length.

Indirectly affects Irish langoustine fisheries

Days at sea restrictions

This is when the fleet effort is controlled so that each boat's fishing potential is not fully utilized. This is mainly to protect cod stocks, but would indirectly affect the langoustine fisheries.

Closed areas

This is when specific areas where fishing for all or some species is prohibited to ensure a sustainable fish stock and to maintain ecological habitats. Closed areas work by protecting spawning areas and juvenile fish.

Minimum mesh size

This is when the size of the mesh in the net is set allowing smaller Irish langoustine and other species to exit the net. Minimum mesh size restrictions are often used with other management measures to reduce overall mortality on groundfish stocks, as well as to reduce discarding and improve survival of small ground fish.

Net modifications

Fishing nets can be modified to reduce by-catch by allowing some species to escape. Nets can be modified with selection grids, square mesh panels and separator panels.