The National Fishermen’s Development Group (NFDG) provides a platform for dialogue between fishermen on a range of “grassroot” issues relating to fishing operations, to allow for knowledge transfer on best practices and dissemination of information on relevant fishing issues. Put simply it is a structure to allow fishermen discuss and resolve issues that will help make the day-to-day work of fishing easier and also that will help to promote a positive image of the Irish fishing industry to the general public. The NFDG does not discuss issues such as quota management, fleet policy or licensing which is outside the remit of this group.
The NFDG comprises representatives from the four Producer Organisations (PO’s), the inshore sector through the National Inshore Fishermen’s forum (NIFF), the National Inshore Fishermen’s Association (NIFA) and from the wider fishing industry not represented by either the PO’s or the NIFF/NIFA. All participants are fishermen or who are involved in the day-today running of fishing vessels. Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) provides technical and administrative support to the NFDG.
The group meets on a regular basis. The types of topics that are discussed include training needs for the industry, technology developments in fishing, surveys of fishing vessels, understanding fisheries legislation, business and financial planning advice for fishermen.