Dublin Castle provided an appropriate backdrop to the North Western Waters Regional Advisory Council (NWWRAC) meetings in Dublin on the 19th of November 2008, where members met to review work progress since the RACs inauguration in this very venue 3 years previously.
The NWWRAC was established as a result of the review of the Common Fisheries Policy in 2002. It was established to bring together stakeholders with an interest in fishery issues for waters west of Ireland (ICES area VI and VII) to give opinion on Commission policy for this area. The group currently has 57 members from organisations in Spain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, the UK and Ireland. The general bodies represented in the NWWRAC meetings include fish producers organisations, environmental conservationists, marine science experts, key Government representatives, and of course – fishermen themselves!
In the course of its third year, the NWWRAC held a total of 17 meetings, dealing with issues on Cod recovery, discarding, long-term management, TACs & quotas, Marine Protected Areas, improved data collection, hake management, deep-sea species, deepwater gillnet fisheries to name but a few.
For the year ahead, the membership will build further upon their work already produced to date in the formulation of RAC advice on the various chosen topics, but items of work proposed for the coming year will include the improvement of fisheries based data advice, Technical Conservation Measures (TCMs) & Discards, Long term Management and Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) and the review of the CFP amongst others.
Forthcoming meetings include working group meetings in Spain in February and Focus group meetings on data collection and long-term management in January. All members of the industry and other stakeholders are welcome to attend these meetings, details of which can be found from the website www.nwwrac.org.