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Creed Concern for Quotas Ahead of Crucial EU Fisheries Negotiations - Quota Cuts of up to Minus 62% Proposed for Key Stocks

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today expressed his serious concerns at the significant quota cuts to a number of key fisheries for Ireland, ahead of the upcoming EU Fisheries negotiations in Brussels. The Minister said that while he accepted that some cuts were necessary to protect the long term sustainability of stocks, some of the cuts proposed were avoidable taking account of the scientific advice.

Minister Creed said today that

We are facing severe cuts to a number of important fish stocks of importance to Ireland such as herring, hake, haddock, whiting and monkfish amongst others.  The proposals from the Commission are being driven by the legal requirement that we reach maximum sustainable yield (MSY) for all stocks as soon as possible and by 2020 at the latest.  Ireland fully supports this objective but I am concerned that, for some stocks, at least, we can take a more modulated approach.  The Commission must also take into account the socio economic impacts of the proposed cuts on our coastal communities and accept adjustments to its proposals where the impact is severe. ”

The Commission’s proposal is to cut Haddock by -34%, Whiting by -59%%, Monkfish by -12%, %, Hake by -19% and Herring by -62%. 

The Minister added that

I presented the scale and implications of these cuts to the Oireachtas on the 28th of November. The level of cuts proposed for a number of fish stocks of crucial importance to Ireland are extremely worrying.  What is really worrying to me is that some of these cuts are based on an overly narrow interpretation of the available scientific advice or are not implementing  MSY on a phased basis where there is a strong socio economic case to do so.”

The Minister went on to say

I will, with the support of our industry representatives, other stakeholders and our scientists be arguing forcefully throughout the Council for a rational application of the scientific advice.”

The Minister will attend the EU Fisheries Council in Brussels from the 11th to the 12th of December, where quotas for the Irish fleet for 2018 will be determined.

Concluding, Minister Creed said

“This is my second December Fisheries Council and I am under no illusions as to how difficult the negotiations will be. I am extremely worried that despite our collective efforts we face a challenging task in delivering a balanced package of quotas that will support the fishing sector and the coastal communities dependant on fishing. I will work as hard as I can with industry and other stakeholders, as well as key Member State partners such as France, the UK and Spain, to get the best possible outcome.”

ENDS

Date Released: 10 December 2017