Fishing communities based on islands off the coast of Ireland, ought to be exempt from fishing restrictions, according to Minister for State, Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher.

Speaking on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta this morning, Minister Gallagher said that the abolition of drift net salmon fishing should be appealed.

He claimed that the amount of salmon caught by island fishermen is very little and hardly impacts on salmon conservation.

Minister Gallagher added that he will be recommending that island fishermen be allowed fish for salmon, as employment opportunities are a huge challenge for islanders.

Meanwhile, the Blasket Islands have been declared a specially-protected area for harbour porpoises, a species which the EU wants to preserve.

Marine researchers have begun a three-month survey to find out just how many there are in the waters around the islands.

But they are so difficult to locate that special electronic acoustic systems are being used to find them.