By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Ministers Coughlan And Browne Prepare For Tough Negotiations At This Week's Fisheries Council

- Commission proposed cuts, ranging up to 25% in 25 of the 36 major fish stocks of interest around Ireland -

Mary Coughlan T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and John Browne T.D., Minister of State at the Department outlined today the major areas of concern for Ireland at the EU Fisheries Council which begins tomorrow morning and is expected to continue into Wednesday.

The Commission published its proposals in early December on the total Allowable Catch (TAC) and quotas for 2008 and associated fishing conditions. The Fisheries council will set the TACs and quotas on the basis of the Commission's proposal and taking account of the scientific advice and the socio-economic impacts on coastal communities dependant on fishing. The main issues for Ireland relate to proposed cuts by the Commission ranging up to 25% in 25 stocks around our coast. There are also concerns, from a conservation perspective, on changes the Commission has recently indicated in the rules governing deepsea fishing, permitting the use of smaller meshed gillnets around Ireland and the rules governing exploratory fishing trips by other Member States in our waters.

In preparation for the negotiations, Ministers Coughlan and Browne recently met industry representatives in Galway to hear their concerns and priorities.

"We are facing very difficult negotiations this week. The proposals on the table will cut fishing opportunities for our fishermen around our coast and I am not convinced of the basis for many of these reductions. I believe that we must take a balanced approach. The science on the state of stocks must be taken into account and we must remain committed to sustainable fisheries management. However, the Commission has proposed sweeping cuts of up to 25% in the coming year in many cases. I intend to work over the next couple of days of negotiations to seek the best possible outcome for Ireland taking into account the very valid concern of the fishing sector. In the end I am looking for a balanced package that takes account of all elements - the scientific advice and the socio-economic interests of fishermen around the coast" Minister Coughlan said.

Minister Browne added "Cuts in TACs are being proposed in many of the stocks of economic importance to our fishermen. The proposal is that herring stocks will be cut by 25% and cuts of between 15% and 25% are being proposed for some of our main whitefish stocks such as cod, haddock, sole and whiting. We will be working with other Member States who have shared interest in these stocks so that a reasonable and sustainable package can be agreed. We are focusing on the continuation of the current conservation measures to protect against abuses in the deep sea gillnet fishery. We are also concerned to retain more control over exploratory fishing trips carried out in some cases by large commercial fishing vessels of other Member States in sensitive fisheries in our waters."

17 December, 2007

Date Released: 17 December 2007