Ireland’s Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) has set its new strategy, indicating its key priorities for the regulation of the State’s sea-fisheries and sea food sectors until 2017.

Ireland’s sectors employ over 11,000 people and are estimated to be worth a combined €850 million annually to the Irish economy.

The independent regulator enforces the EU Common Fisheries Policy and sea-fisheries law generally and food safety law relating to fish and fishery products, covering all fishing vessels operating within Ireland’s 200 mile limit, including 2,114 Irish registered fishing vessels and 170 seafood processing companies.

“I am very pleased to welcome this new Strategy from the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority,” said Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence.

“The introduction of the discards ban on a phased basis from 2015 will see many fundamental changes in fishing industry practice. These changes will ultimately lead to a sustainable industry and a secure future for fishermen and their families. It is essential that these changes are implemented successfully.

“The period of this Strategy Statement and beyond to 2020 will see a major programme of capital investment undertaken by the Authority, co-funded by Government and the EU under the new Seafood Development Programme.”

Susan Steele, chair of the SFPA, claimed fair, effective and independent implementation of regulation would be key to realising the potential of Irish fisheries.

“In the shared marine resource, those who choose not to comply undermine the livelihoods of those who are complying. The SFPA aims to create a level playing field.”

The policy document can be viewed at