----- The Voice of Ireland's Fishing Industry and Maritime Community - Published Monthly, Established 1989 -----

Ireland will be expected to put up and shut up

Patrick Murphy, CEO of the Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation will be present at the vitally important annual December Council of Ministers Meetings next week says "This year we see more savage cuts to our most important fisheries as we approach the horse trading of the Annual December Council meeting in Brussels on the 11th and 12th December.

"As usual, we can expect that the powerful Countries will ensure that quota for species important to their fleets are maintained while Ireland will be expected to put up and shut up.

7th Dec em ber 2017

"We are again told our Minister Michael Creed has the enormous task to increase our percentage share of the recovering stocks in Europe's waters but the only stocks we can discuss is the miserable 12% of fish we are allowed to catch in our own and UK Waters and any increase is based on ICES advice for those species.

"The common stocks of interest for Irish and UK Fishermen, has seen ICES propose increases in 15 and cuts to a minimum of 6.

"Eight stocks remain the same as in 2017 while another 19 are subject to late scientific advice or ongoing negotiations which adds to the uncertainty Industry has foisted upon it.

"This year, for instance, contrary to some commentator's belief that Irelands whitefish fleet has seen some profitable years of late due to low oil prices and reasonable fish quotas, I believe there have been no reasonable fish quotas for boats in the Irish Whitefish Sector since 1983. As is clearly evident from the many Decommissioning Schemes we have had to endure to reduce our fleet many times so the fleet shrinks to the quota rather than the quota increasing to maintain the fleet.

"The benefit of 88% of all fish caught in Irish waters goes to coastal communities in Spain, France, Netherlands, Belgium and the UK, while Irish coastal communities are dying on their feet attempting to survive on the miserable 12% we are allowed to catch of our own fish.

"Of specific interest to Irish Fishermen is the fact that Herring in the Celtic Sea is slashed by 62.36% which will lead to job losses if not closures of Factories and Fishing Enterprises.

"Meanwhile, another one of our most valuable Fisheries, Hake sees cuts of 21.41% which will once again lead to job losses and closures.

"Boarfish cut by 25%, Megrims cut by 6% in Area 7 and 4.27% in all other areas, after some reasonably good years for Mackerel quota we again now see it reduced to average amounts based on historical figures.

"This year the Council is expected to address anomalies and holes in the regulatory framework for both Albacore and Blue Fin Tuna but Ireland will be by-standers on Blue Fin Tuna in circumstances where we refuse to even apply for a quota for Blue Fin species, that is now clearly abundant in our waters for the past four to five years at least.

"What is odd about how Europe is now proposing to regulate migratory stock similar to Tuna is that they have failed to pay any attention to the effect these predatory fish have on our native stock like Herring in the Celtic Sea while also being blind to the adverse impacts of Porcupine Seismic blasting on all fish stocks.

"We have been told for a generation that the Hague Preference is designed to ensure that certain fish stocks and their quota would be protected for the benefit of Irish and UK Fishermen but this year that theory has been stood on its head as evidenced by the allocation of 60% of the 100% increase in Cod quota in Area 7a for Ireland being allocated goes to our neighbours on top of their already 100% increase".

December 2017 Issue - Vol 30 No.07

December 2017 issue in all good stockists

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