Fishing licenses in Ireland are a legal right and a right for every citizen.
The only exception to that is for species not listed in the European Union’s Marine Species Convention, which means they cannot be bought and sold in Ireland.
The ban is the latest in a series of moves by the Government to curb fishing, which is estimated to cost the Irish economy more than €4 billion per year.
The Irish government has been under pressure to ban licences in the wake of recent revelations about widespread corruption in the fishing industry.
In August, the Government confirmed it would scrap the licence-based fishing quotas system, which allows fishing companies to get around the quota system by simply paying less.
The Government also announced plans to remove the fishing license exemption for fishing on the high seas from next year.
It’s not clear how many licenses are already in the Irish waters.
However, an Irish Government website states that the government has cancelled around 20,000 fishing licenses since the Brexit vote, but this does not include the many other licences which are currently in Irish waters, such as fishing licences issued in foreign countries.
In its annual report, the Irish Government also stated that it is “unlikely” that fishing licences will be renewed for next year, but the move could also be a move to reduce pressure on the industry.
The decision to remove licenses from the High Seas from next July could mean that there are no more licenses in Irish seas for the next four years, while the EU Fisheries Code will remain in force.
Irish Government spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Peter Flanagan, said: “The fishing license system is a legal system and we must continue to uphold it and work towards the creation of a new licensing system in Ireland that allows for the fishing of species not in the Marine Species List.”