Quotas Worth €280m Secured for Irish Fishing Industry in 2017
233,500 tonnes of quotas worth €280 million were secured for Irish fishermen for 2017, following negotiations at the annual Fisheries Council in Brussels on Wednesday morning, according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed. This represents an increase of 17,390 tonnes over 2016.
“I am satisfied that I have managed to turn an extremely worrying set of proposals from the Commission into a much improved outcome for the Irish fishing industry,” Creed said. I am especially pleased that the quotas agreed respect the scientific advice ensuring that the fish stocks in our waters will be managed sustainably.
“The total €280m value of quotas, which represents a 6% increase on 2016, is a good result overall and is a long way from the original Commission proposals which would have resulted in very significant losses to our fleet. The original proposal included a 19% reduction in whitefish quotas.”
Details of the Agreement
For the South and West coasts and the Irish Sea, the agreement allows a 9% increase in the €74 million prawn fishery. In the Southwest, a 9% increase in hake was secured, while cuts proposed for monkfish were reversed. For the Celtic Sea fisheries there was a 21% increase in whiting (from a possible 27% cut); a 7 % increase in haddock and a 15% cut in cod (reduced from the 68% proposed cut). For the Irish Sea, a 25% increase in haddock; retention of cod and sole quotas. For the Irish Sea, a 25% increase in haddock; retention of cod and sole quotas. Cuts in line with scientific advice were applied to haddock in the North West and megrim in the Celtic Sea were also announced.
“I am particularly pleased to have persuaded the Commission to reverse the proposed 9% cut in the prawn quota, the most important fishery for the whitefish fleet,” Creed said. “We succeeded in getting the Commission to apply the appropriate scientific advice for prawns resulting in a 9% increase. This was my number one priority heading into these negotiations and I am very happy with the result.
“The most difficult area coming into these negotiations was the Commission proposal for cod and whiting in the Celtic Sea. The proposal was for a -68% cut on cod and a -27% cut in whiting. Whilst the scientific advice on cod in the Celtic sea is worrying, the scientific advice on whiting in the Celtic sea is positive. I am satisfied that the final outcome of a -15% cut in the cod quota and a 21% increase in the whiting quota was the most positive that could have been achieved. The impact of the cut in cod quota for Ireland, is substantially reduced through the application of the Hague Preferences.”