Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

 Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Charlie Mc Conalogue T.D., today announced the establishment of a Common Fisheries Policy Review Group, chaired by Mr John Malone, former Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture.  Mr. Malone will be assisted by a steering committee comprising Mr Micheal O Cinneide, former Director of the Marine Institute and Environmental Protection Agency and Mr Donal Maguire, former Director in BIM.

The purpose of the Review Group is to examine the issues that arise for Ireland in the review of the Common Fisheries Policy, advise the Minister on priorities for the negotiations;  and identify strategies that have the strongest possible probability of achieving change.  The Group will also advise on progressing within the review of the CFP the opportunities identified in the report of Seafood Task Force – Navigating Change to restore quota share parity following the EU/UK agreement whereby Ireland carries an unequal and unfair burden of the EU fish quota transfers to the UK.

The Group will be assisted by experts from the Department, the Marine Institute and BIM to provide the necessary policy, scientific and technical advice and support.

The Minister is asking the Group to make recommendations related to the Review of the Common Fisheries Policy that support the social and economic health of our fisheries dependant coastal communities, economic development in our sea-food sector, whilst delivering long term sustainability of fish stocks and maximising protection of habitats and the marine environment.

Membership of the Group 

Chair –   John Malone ; Steering Group–  Micheal O Cinneide, Donal Maguire;   Rapporteur – Micheal Keatinge

Group members:

Fishing and Aquaculture representatives – One representative each from:

Irish South and East Fish Producers Organisation; Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation;  Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation; Irish Fish Producers Organisation; Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation;  National Inshore Forum; Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association; IFA Aquaculture.

Co-Ops: 2 representatives

Environmental NGOs:  2 representatives

Minister Mc Conalogue said

“I now intend inviting a forum of key stakeholders to produce a report to inform Ireland’s position during the course of the CFP review.  This forum will be able to draw on the expertise in my own Department, the Marine Institute and BIM, to provide the necessary policy, scientific and technical support.  I am very pleased that John Malone has agreed to Chair this group and that he will be ably supported by Micheal O Cinneide and Donal Maguire on the Steering Committee.  I have asked BIM to provide the Secretariat to the Group and to engage Michael Keatinge, retired BIM Deputy CEO and an expert in fisheries analysis, to act as rapporteur drafting the report of the Group.”

Minister Mc Conalogue explained

“The seafood sector has faced challenges over the recent past, arising in particular from Brexit.    The work of the Seafood Task Force – Navigating Change -focused on the implications of Brexit and recommended 16 separate support schemes at a total estimated cost of €423 million.  I am, in a structured way, progressing the implementation of those recommendations.  A voluntary whitefish tie-up scheme has already been implemented, a Brexit Adjustment Scheme for the inshore fisheries sector is also operating and other schemes are being finalised.  The Taskforce Report also identified opportunities to help address the unequal burden sharing in the EU/UK agreement, that resulted in Ireland carrying an unequal and unfair burden of EU fish quota transfers to the UK. I am actively pursuing every opportunity at EU level to address the issues.   Now it is timely to place the focus on the EU Common Fisheries Policy and with the assistance of this Review Group, to prepare Ireland’s case and priorities for the upcoming EU review.”

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) Regulation (Regulation EU 380/2013) provides that the European Commission will report to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning of the CFP by the end of 2022.   The European Commission has launched an online questionnaire as part of its public consultation on the preparation of this report.  The Commission has stated that it intends to close its consultation process with a stakeholder event before the summer of 2022.  The Minister has asked the Review Group to complete its work by June to ensure that Ireland’s priorities are clearly set out and inputted into the formal Commission process. The Minister said that he is issuing invitations to the relevant Stakeholder organisations for nominations to the Group and expects the Group to get to work once all nominations to the Group are in place.