The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced that licences for the Mourne Herring Fishery will be available from 1 September 2017.
Fishing will be restricted to boats not exceeding 40ft (12.2 metres) in overall length using drift nets with a minimum mesh size of 54 mm in accordance with EC Regulation 850/98. Boats of over 40ft (12.2 metres) in overall length are not allowed to take part in this fishery.
The Mourne Herring quota for British registered fishing vessels in 2017 has been set at 30 tonnes.
Weekend fishing for Mourne Herring will not be permitted in 2017.
Application forms are available from your local Fisheries Office. All licence applications must be accompanied by a copy of the current Certificate of Registry issued under The Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
Notes to editors:
1. Article 20.3 of Council Regulation (EC) 850/98 (OJ No L125, 27.4.98, P1) permits drift net fishing of the Mourne Herring stock by boats not exceeding 40ft (12.2 metres) in overall length. The only method of fishing permitted is drift netting using nets of minimum mesh of 54 mm.
2. Boats of over 40ft (12.2) metres in overall length are prohibited from fishing for herring from 21 September to 31 December, in the part of the Irish Sea (ICES Division VIIa) bounded by the following co-ordinates:-
- the east coast of Northern Ireland at latitude 54° 15’N
- latitude 54° 15’N, longitude 5° 15’W
- latitude 53° 50’N, longitude 5° 50’W
- the east coast of Ireland at latitude 53° 50’N
3. The above area is off the Mourne Shore where the Mourne Herring Fishery will take place.
4. The penalty for contravention of the prohibition is a fine of up to £50,000 on summary conviction or an unlimited fine on conviction or indictment in accordance with Section 30(1) of the Fisheries Act 1981.
5. Licences will expire on 31 December 2017 or will be revoked before that date if either the Mourne Shore quota or the UK’s Irish Sea herring quota is taken.
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