Speaking after the Council, Sean O’Donoghue, CEO, said:
“The outcome of the Fisheries Council was very positive especially for the whitefish sector where many proposed cuts were averted. Not only will this have a positive impact on the fishing sector but it will safeguard employment and investment in the processing industry. I must congratulate Minister Coveney and his team, including BIM and the Marine Institute, for the huge effort made over the last few days.
In recent years our pelagic stocks have been decided over a series of meetings earlier in the year and we have known where we stood with stocks such as mackerel, Ireland’s most valuable fishery, and Boarfish, for several months but we had work to do to finalise the quota for blue whiting. Herring in the northwest has also been a problem for the past year with a closure in the area. We appreciate the effort Minister Coveney has put into making sure that by the end of February we will have a TAC of 2000 to 3000 tonnes to facilitate a rebuilding programme for this stock.
We are pleased with the increased quota of 24550 tonnes for 2016 but feel our position has been completely undermined by the actions of the EU Commission which concluded a separate agreement with Norway unbeknown to the Council of Ministers and, in addition, transferred a further 25,000 tonnes of blue whiting to Norway. This has resulted in a two-tier blue whiting TAC with one for Norway and another lower one at the MSY level for the EU. This is not acceptable and should not have been done by the Commission even though they have the power to do so.”
Sean O’Donoghue, CEO Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation 087 – 4196535 or 074 97 31089