Feb 18 2016 Posted: 11:45 GMT

Dr Rebecca Metzner, United Nations Chief of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organisation, will deliver a public talk in the Galway Business School on Wednesday, 24 February at 7.30pm. The talk is organised by Coastwatch Europe, in association with NUI Galway’s School of Geography and the Ryan Institute.

One of the goals of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations is to promote the combination of modern, cutting edge research with local knowledge and practices to conserve and improve local resources, producing multiple benefits at the local and global level. With the growing challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, it is important to protect and build upon the knowledge and associated practices. Around Galway Bay inshore fishermen, and particularly traditional seaweed harvesters, have expressed growing concern about the future of the region. Proposals for large scale salmon aquaculture, a major harbour extension, and international interests in seaweed processing and harvesting on the foreshore are of particular concern for the traditional local small scale operators.

Dr Metzner will also meet with small-scale fisheries and traditional gathers of Galway Bay to discuss their rights and opportunities in light of new developments in marine law and policy in Ireland.

Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch said: “We extended the invite because we feel most small-scale fishers and communities are not on the radar of national and regional decision makers.”

Dr Kevin Lynch, NUI Galway’s School of Geography and the Ryan Institute, said: “The issues around traditional activities on our coasts require an integrated approach to future coastal and marine initiatives. Our Masters of Science students have a number of projects ongoing in this area and the students are looking forward to meeting Dr Metzner to discuss best practices from other countries where similar issues arise.”

-Ends-

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