Quotas for Spur dog and North West Herring a welcome development for fishing communities
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D., welcomed the agreement between the EU and UK on fishing opportunities for shared fish stocks for 2023.
Minister McConalogue said: “The conclusion of the EU-UK negotiations before the 20 December deadline set out in the EU-UK Trade & Co-operation Agreement allows Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and quotas to be set for the full year. Most of Ireland’s commercial fish stocks are shared with the UK and the successful conclusion of this agreement will provide greater certainty and stability for our fleet as we enter 2023.”
The Minister added: “There will be increases in the quotas for some of Ireland’s most important commercial stocks including Prawns (nephrops), Celtic Sea Monkfish, Hake and Megrim and North-west Haddock and Whiting. Restricted, by-catch only quotas have been set for some vulnerable stocks caught in mixed fisheries including cod stocks around the coast and for the Horse Mackerel stock to help these stocks recover. Throughout the negotiations, I have worked closely with Commissioner Sinkevičius to ensure that Ireland’s priorities are protected. I am satisfied that the final agreement respects the scientific advice and supports the rebuilding of overfished stocks.”
Minister McConalogue said: “The reopening of the spurdog fishery, after it was closed for over ten years to rebuild that stock, provides a great opportunity for our inshore fishermen who traditionally participated in this fishery. In addition, the North West Herring fishery will be re-opened as a commercial fishery. This fishery was closed, other than for the collection of data for scientific purposes, since 2015. We are seeing the positive results of taking necessary tough action when needed. It will be important that we manage all these fish stocks in order to continue to build on the progress that has been made to date.”
The Minister concluded: “Having the full year’s TACs and quotas in place will allow me to make decisions on and allocate quotas for the full year and enable fishermen to plan their activities for the year ahead.”