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Killeen Launches Ireland's Proposal on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

Tony Killeen T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food today launched Ireland's proposals on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. 

Following the launch of the EU Commission's Green Paper on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, Minister Killeen appointed Dr Noel Cawley to co-ordinate consultation with stakeholders.  Dr Cawley organised an extensive consultation process which involved meetings around the coast, an open call for submissions and a Seminar organised by the Federation of Irish Fishermen.  

Minister Killeen said "I wish to thank the Federation of Irish Fishermen and other stakeholders for their invaluable contribution to the preparation of Ireland's submission on the CFP reform which is strongly informed by the formal submissions received.  I found the meetings around the country organised by the FIF critically important in getting a full understanding of fishermen's experience and ideas for change.  I also found the seminar organised by the FIF last October was very useful in scoping the issues and bringing forward ideas for change. I also sought and received submissions from a range of other stakeholders both from the fishing industry and elsewhere.  I also met separately other stakeholder bodies including the Irish Fishermen's Organisation, the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association, IFA Aquaculture and the Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership."

Ireland's submission on the CFP reform sets down a number of informed recommendations that the Minister believes must be incorporated into the new Common Fisheries Policy. 

The changes cover

  • New focus on addressing discarding of fish at sea with a complete ban being introduced for stocks in a depleted state;
  • The retention of a management system based on national quotas supported by increased flexibility and a rejection of the mandatory privatisation of fish quotas or the introduction of international trading of fish quotas;
  • Access to coastal waters to be re-examined with a view to an extension of the coastal limit to 20 miles with new management arrangements in place to strengthen coastal communities dependant on inshore coastal fisheries;
  • New measures to strengthen the market for EU producers and increase quay side prices;
  • Reinvigoration of European aquaculture with continued structural support and a roadmap that establishes a route for growth in harmony with Community environmental law.
  • New regional structure to decision making at EU level with increasing industry responsibility and the development of a culture of compliance.

Minister Killeen said "I am satisfied that the changes Ireland is seeking are essential to deliver a seafood industry that is strong, sustainable and profitable and supports fishing and related economic activities in the coastal communities.  I believe that these communities must be allowed maintain jobs in the catching, supply and processing sectors in order to prosper.  It is not just the activities of the smaller, inshore fleets that support this vital activity but, in Ireland's case, the operation of family owned, locally operated larger boats are the primary mainstay of activity in our fishing ports in many cases."

Minister Killeen has formally sent Ireland's submission to Commissioner Maria Damanaki who has taken over the new Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Directorate.  Minister Killeen said "I have requested a meeting with Commissioner Damanaki to outline the key elements of Ireland's CFP Review submission and explain the changes that we consider are essential.    I have also invited Commissioner Damanaki to visit Ireland to see at first hand the workings of the fishing industry here and perhaps take the opportunity of meeting industry in their own environment." 

The report in its entirety and all formal submissions received are available on www.fishingnet.ie

Date Released: 23 February 2010