Creed worried over fish quota talks

Minister for Agriculture and the Marine Michael Creed appears to be preparing the ground for a tough outcome from the latest EU fisheries round which starts in Brussels today. The annual EU fisheries negotiations in Brussels on fishing quota pose significant challenges for the Irish industry, Mr Creed has said.

Creed worried over fish quota talks

Minister for Agriculture and the Marine Michael Creed appears to be preparing the ground for a tough outcome from the latest EU fisheries round which starts in Brussels today. The annual EU fisheries negotiations in Brussels on fishing quota pose significant challenges for the Irish industry, Mr Creed has said.

“If the commission’s quota proposals remain unchanged, we are facing a very challenging situation for 2019, particularly in the context of the full implementation of the landing obligation or ‘discards ban’,” he said.

Mr Creed said the phasing in of the landing obligation for all Irish fish stocks next year was among the “positive developments for fishermen”. However, he was very worried about the commission’s plans to reduce Celtic Sea cod by 58%, Celtic Sea haddock by 14% and to reduce prawns by 32%.

“I am very concerned about the level of cuts proposed for our whitefish and prawn fisheries and the implications of some of these for the effective roll out of the landing obligation,” he said.

“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 balanced and practical manner.

We need to work with the fishing industry to enable them to end the discarding of marketable and juvenile fish in a way which does not threaten the viability of the industry.

“A practical approach is especially important in the context of the full implementation of the landing obligation, which will apply to all quota stocks in 2019.

“Some of the commission’s novel proposals are not in the interest of the Irish fishing industry and are not fully justified by the scientific advice. I will be focusing my attention on those,” said Mr Creed said. To sustain fish stocks, he said he had agreed to substantial cuts in mackerel, blue whiting, and Celtic Sea herring quota.

“Working with industry and other stakeholders, as well as with Commissioner [Karmenu] Vella and relevant member states I will be doing my utmost to achieve a fair and balanced outcome for Ireland’s fishing industry,” he said.

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