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Minister Creed announces the delayed implementation of the Pilot Quota Balancing Policy for Demersal (Whitefish) Stocks

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has announced that the implementation of the Pilot Quota Balancing Policy for Demersal (Whitefish) Stocks will be delayed until 1st June 2020.

The Minister has acknowledged that the current economic climate has had a significant impact on the seafood industry and has been particularly challenging for vessels in the demersal (whitefish) fleet, stating “this delay will allow our whitefish fleet extra time to become familiar with the quota balancing process and to adapt in these unprecedented times.”

The Pilot Quota Balancing Policy for Demersal (Whitefish) Stocks (with technical amendment of August 2019) was due to be implemented from 1st January 2020, with quota balancing statements to issue to licence holders later this month. It is anticipated that quota balancing statements for demersal (whitefish) stocks for the calendar months of January 2020 to May 2020 will be issued to licence holders for information purposes only.

A copy of the Pilot Quota Balancing Policy for Demersal Stocks (with technical amendment of August 2019) is available to view on the Departments website at https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/seafood/seafoodpolicy/forms/.

Notes for Editors:

The quota balancing scheme has been developed at the request of, and with the help of, the Quota Management Advisory Committee. The Quota Management Advisory Committee is made up of fishing industry representatives from the catching and processing sectors, who make recommendations to the Minister on the management of Irish fishing quotas.

Quota balancing will be applied for the following five whitefish stocks from June 2020:

  • Hake in 6 and 7 (HKE/571214) o Monk in 7 (ANF/07.)
  • Whiting in 7b-k (WHG/(7X7A)7X7A-C)
  • Monk in 6 (ANF/56-14)
  • Haddock in 6a (HAD/5BC6A)
  • Whiting in 7b-k (WHG/(7X7A)7X7A-C)

Quota balancing will be rolled out for further stocks at a later time

Quota balancing means that where a vessel lands more than its allocated catch limit for a stock during a fishery management period, a deduction will be made from a future catch limit for that vessel.

A multiplying factor will apply to the excess landings. Where a vessel has excess landings more than 10% over the catch limit, a higher level of payback will apply

Quota balancing by the Department is completely separate to any action that may be considered or is being taken by the control authorities.

A pilot scheme for pelagic stocks was introduced by the Minister on 1 January 2018 and will continue to be in effect.

ENDS

Date Released: 24 April 2020