North West Overview

North West Regional Inshore Fisheries Forum Overview

The North West RIFF comprises the coastal zones of counties Mayo and Sligo.  The fishing fleet in the North West RIFF area represents approximately 11% of the national fleet according to the national fleet register in July 2014. There are approximately 238 vessels included in the polyvalent general, polyvalent potting, specific and aquaculture sectors. Seven of these vessels are between 12 and 18m and one is over 18m and are all in the polyvalent general sector. The vessels under 12m represent 97 % of the Sligo/Mayo fleet; Sligo accounts for 16.5% of these and Mayo 83.5%.

While the main harbours in the area operate in Killala Bay (Killala Port and Harbour) and Sligo Bay, elsewhere, fishing and tourism activities occur at a number of small harbours along the coastline. There are six harbours  in and adjacent to Clew Bay – Cloghmore in Achill, Newport, Westport, Roonagh Quay, Clare Island and Inishturk. On the Mullet Peninsula, there is Ballyglass Pier in Belmullet, Frenchport by Annagh Head and Blacksod, while to the east lies Porturlin, Rinroe and Béal Deirig harbour. In Sligo there is Pullaheeney Harbour at Rathlee as well as Rosses Point pier and harbours at Raghly and Mullaghmore, Inniscrone, Poll Na Diva and Port a Dav.

The fisheries in the FLAG North West area Include:

  • Lobster potting from Killary to Bundoran including Clare Island and Inisturk Island.
  • Brown crab is fished from Killary to Bundoran, primarily as a by catch in the Lobster fishery south of Erris Head. North of Erris head brown crab are targeted by a dedicated fleet.
  • Spider crab is increasingly becoming a targeted fishery in the last few years by pots or nets?
  • Crayfish are caught by tangle-netting on a weather dependant basis.
  • The shrimp fishery is particularly significant in Killary, Clew Bay, Achill and Blacksod Bay.
  • Scallop dredgingin Killary, Clew Bay, Achill, Blacksod and Broadhaven Bay.
  • Inshore trawling occurs in areas along both counties.
  • Trolling and jigging for whitefish occurs all along the coast, mackeral and pollack being the main species targeted.
  • Bi-Valves such as razors, clams, cockles and scallops are fished mainly in Clew Bay, Achill, Blacksod, Frenchport and Killala. Whelks are potted in Clew Bay.
  • Prawns are trawled and potted in Killary and Clew Bay.
  • Gill/tangle netting for brill, turbot, skates and ray occurs in some areas.

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