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Creed's Concern on Quota Cuts Ahead of Annual EU Fisheries Negotiations - Quota cuts of up to minus 68% proposed for key whitefish stocks

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today expressed his serious concern at the potential impact on Irelands’ whitefish fleet, ahead of the upcoming Annual EU Fisheries negotiations in Brussels on the 12th and 13th of December.

Minister Creed said today that “If the Commission’s quota proposals remain unchanged, we are facing an overall 19% cut to our whitefish and prawn quotas for 2017. This would mean, in real terms, a direct income loss of over €14.7million to our whitefish fleet.

The Commission’s proposal includes cuts to Celtic Sea Cod  (-68%) , Pollack  (-20%), Megrim (-28%) , Monkfish (-12%)  and, for our most important stock, Prawns, a cut of -9%. 

The Minister added that “I presented the scale and implications of these cuts to the joint Oireachtas Committee earlier this week following the completion of a Sustainability Impact Assessment which was open to public consultation.  I also met the fishing industry and other stakeholders and got a detailed brief on the issues and priorities.    I am very concerned about the level of cuts proposed for the whitefish and prawn fisheries.   We need a balanced outcome that delivers necessary cuts to protect stocks while maintaining quota levels where justified.”  

The Minister went on to say  “At these negotiations, my goal will be, with the support of our stakeholders and scientists to persuade the Commission to apply the available scientific advice in a rational and practical manner.  This is especially important in the context of the ongoing roll out of the landing obligation, which will apply to all quota stocks from 2019. ”

There will be substantial increases in our important mackerel and blue whiting quotas, while we are facing cuts in horse mackerel, Celtic sea herring and boarfish.  The Minister is accepting these quota adjustments because they are fully justified by the scientific advice. 

Concluding, Minister Creed said “This is my first December Fisheries Council and I do not underestimate the challenge. All I can promise is that I will work as hard as I can with industry and other stakeholders, as well as with Commissioner Vella, and important Member States such as France, the UK and Spain, to try and achieve a fair and balanced quota  package for Ireland’s fishing industry that ensures the continued vibrancy of our industry and the long term sustainability of our stocks.”

To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 185/2016 (pdf 371Kb) 

 

Date Released: 12 December 2016

Distribution channels: Agriculture, Farming & Forestry