2014 saw the establishment the representative structures that are Inshore Fisheries Forums http://inshoreforums.ie/ In 2015 a number of the members of NIFF saw the potential and need for a legal entity or organisation to organise industry, not only to support these structures but to make full use of them and realise their full potential.
Further exploration of this concept led to the incorporation of the NIFA CLG, which now works with the NIFF via a memorandum of understanding. During the early developmental stages of the NIFA CLG, other potential benefits of having an organisation that allowed inshore operators work collectively became apparent. These potential benefits include improving the profitability of its members, something the NIFA CLG is very focused on.
The main funding mechanism for the Fisheries sector, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) allows for an increased rate of funding for what it defines as “Small Scale Coastal Fisheries”. That is fisheries that are prosecuted by “Vessels of an overall length of less than 12 meters and not using towed gear as listed in Table 3 of Annex I to Commission Regulation (EC) No 26/2004″.
In order for Irelands SSCF operators to fully avail of this mechanism the NIFA CLG is solely concerned with SSCF operators. However recognising that there are many operators in Irelands Inshore Sector that do not conform to the SSCF definition and in order to foster a spirit of unity and solidarity with Irelands Inshore Sector a sister organisation the National Inshore Fishermen’s Organisation NIFO was also established. The purpose of our sister organisation is to cater for Inshore operators that do not conform to the SSCF definition. Both the NIFA and the NIFO work closely together under the federation umbrella of the Federation of Irish Inshore Fishing Associations. (FIIFA)