Fine Gael TD for Galway West & Mayo South

€123 million package of quotas secured for Irish white-fish fishing industry

Increase of 3% in €60m prawn quota will benefit Ros a Mhíl

Following 48 hours of intensive negotiations the Government, represented by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D., has secured a successful outcome for coastal communities in Ireland in the latest round of EU fishing quotas negotiations.

Minister Simon Coveney stood firm to secure a much improved outcome for the Irish whitefish industry than that which the European Commission had proposed.

The Minister said the total €123m value of quotas secured for the whitefish fishermen is a good result overall and is a long way from the original Commission proposals which would have resulted in very significant losses to our fleet. The original Commission proposal included a 20% reduction in whitefish quotas, involving a direct income reduction of €18m for our fishermen.

Minister Coveney persuaded the Commission to reverse the proposed 14% cut in the prawn quota, the most important fishery for the whitefish fleet and succeeded in getting the Commission to follow the scientific advice for prawns and apply a 3% increase in Ireland’s quota for this extremely important €60m fishery.

An 11% increase in the important hake fishery has also been secured with quotas being maintained for the economically important monkfish and megrim stocks.

Other details negotiated include:

  • In the North West, a 20% increase in monkfish quota; a minor increase for the megrim quota, a doubling of the Rockall haddock quota and a 14 % increase in Donegal haddock for the ports of Greencastle and Killybegs
  • For the South and West coasts and the Irish Sea, a 3% increase in the €60 million prawn fishery which benefits the ports of Clogherhead, Howth, Union Hall, Castletownbere, Dingle and Ros a Mhil.
  • For the mixed whitefish fisheries off the South and West coasts, a 12 % reduction in haddock (down from a 41% proposed cut); a 13% cut in cod (reduced from the 64% proposed cut) and 12% reduction in whiting (from a proposed 14% cut).

Overall the package agreed for whitefish quotas for Irish fishermen in 2015 represents a successful outcome considering the depth of cuts proposed by the Commission at the start of these Council negotiations. This is a good outcome for the fishing industry and it also supports a sustainable approach to protecting our fish stocks.