Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Agreement over EU fishing quotas for 2015

The EU Commission had been proposing very sharp cuts to Irish quotas, including a 20% reduction in whitefish quota and a 14% reduction in prawn quotas

However, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said he is relieved to have delivered a much improved outcome.

The prawn quota has been increased by 3%, while the hake quota has also seen an 11% increase.

However, quotas for haddock and whiting have both been reduced by 12%, with a 13% reduction in cod quota.

Mr Coveney said the quotas which have now been agreed will be worth €123m to Irish whitefish fishermen next year, which is a small increase on this year.

The Minister said that an initiative from the Irish fishing industry to use new fishing gear that will allow more young fish to escape and reduce discards of haddock and whiting into the Celtic Sea by 4,000 tonnes per year greatly assisted in getting the sever EU proposed cuts reduced.

Fishermen’s representatives have described the outcome from the talks as disappointing.

Caitlin Uí Aodha, who represents fishermen in the south-east, said that the quota cuts in the Celtic Sea would only result in more discarding of fish at sea.

She added that these reductions will put further pressure on fishermen who are already finding it difficult to make a living.

Sean O'Donoghue, chairman of the Federation of Irish Fishermen, said that a zero quota for herring of the north-west was concerning and must be revisited in the New Year as it was unnecessary.He also said that the current quota management structure was “not fit for purpose” and called for a decommissioning scheme to reduce the numbers of boats at sea.



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