RIF Piece for Skipper

The inaugural meeting of a new society took place 29th of October last. The main aims of “Responsible Irish Fish” are to assist vessel owners achieve certification for their fish/shellfish, to develop an industry owned brand to allow Irish Fishermen differentiate their products in the market place and to promote Irish fish caught in a responsible manner.

The development of an Environmental Management System by BIM, with the fishing industry, forms the basis for this new label. The EMS system can be used as a stepping stone to various forms of certification depending on the fishery a vessel is involved in, such as MSC (which the Irish RSW and polyvalent sector has achieved for the mackerel fishery) or The BIM Stewardship Scheme which is a product certification currently under development by BIM. “Responsible Irish Fish” will use the BIM schemes to underpin the credibility of the new label.

The label stands for:

  • Fish/shellfish that is fully traceable back to a vessel on the Irish register
  • It aims to stabilise jobs at the vessel level
  • It aims to create new jobs in the processing sector by encouraging more demand for Irish caught and Irish processed seafood
  • It aims to give the consumer the choice of buying Irish while being confident in the origin of what they are eating and how it is caught

A pilot project is currently underway that will see fish from vessels using the label come through Ocean Path, out into Super-Valu. This will allow us work our way through some of the challenges of the project, and develop robust rules before other interested processors and sellers of fish join the scheme after Christmas.

Our board members are, Frank Fleming (Schull), Bill Deasy (Union Hall), Damien Turner (Castletownbere), Stephen Dirrane (Galway), Eamonn Dixon (Mayo), Michael Cavanagh (Greencastle), Niall Connolly (Clogherhead), Anthony Sheehy (Baltimore), John Tattan (Ballycotton). Any fishermen interested in the project can contact Frank Fleming on (087)2591376 or your local board member for more details.