Established in 2006, the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) is Ireland's competent authority for sea-fisheries protection and seafood safety. It is responsible for ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation thereby supporting the sustainable development of Ireland’s marine resources and ensuring consumers across the world continue to enjoy Irish seafood of the highest quality safely. Its remit includes all fishing vessels operating within Ireland’s 200 mile limit, over 2,000 Irish registered fishing vessels wherever they operate and all seafood produced in Ireland’s 170 seafood processing companies.
The SFPA’s scope of work is broad and varied. It includes detecting and deterring illegal fishing, verifying consignments for Ireland’s growing export market as well as carrying out approval inspections and audits of all food businesses within the seafood sector. The SFPA is the Competent Authority for the classification of shellfish production areas according to water quality in line with European food regulations. It also implements the National Marine Biotoxin Monitoring programme in collaboration with the Marine Institute and Molluscan Shellfish Safety Committee.
The SFPA currently employs over 80 people between its headquarters in Clonakilty, Co. Cork and its offices in the major ports around the coast: in Castletownbere, Dingle, Ros a Mhil, Killybegs, Howth and Dunmore East.
The SFPA is located in Clonakilty, the vibrant, cosmopolitan seaside town ideally located in West Cork, and within easy reach of Cork City. Named the UK and Ireland’s Best Town 2017 at the Urbanism Awards, Clonakilty is home to some of Ireland’s finest award winning food producers and restaurants. It offers a selection of both English speaking and Irish speaking primary and secondary schools and a wide range of sporting activities from rugby and GAA to water sports and golf.