Irish Examiner view: Inshore fishing loophole should be suspended

Irish Examiner view: Inshore fishing loophole should be suspended

A High Court judicial review has overturned a ban on trawling by vessels over 18m inside six nautical miles. This kind of fishing should be suspended until an appeal is concluded.

One of the positive things about today's world is a growing awareness that we cannot continue to exploit the natural world as if it is an endless resource. 

We have, belatedly, realised that our appetites and this planet's capabilities are dangerously out of kilter. That imbalance manifests itself in many ways. 

The tsunami of plastics destroying our oceans and marine life is one but another has become all too obvious. A ban on trawling or seine fishing by vessels over 18 metres inside six nautical miles has been overturned by a High Court judicial review. 

Though the ruling will be appealled this, for the moment, means that larger vessels, working in pairs can target inshore stocks, very often the species at the very bottom of the seas' food pyramid. These catches will not be consumed by humans but be used to make fish meal.

This seems another unsustainable mismatch between commerce, technology and our natural world. This kind of fishing should be suspended at least until the appeal is concluded. 

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