#Fishing - Marine Minister Simon Coveney yesterday (10 November) held a bilateral meeting with the new French Fisheries Minister Alain Vidalies in Brussels.
The meeting was organised to prepare for negotiations on the 2015 fish quotas which will be decided at the Fisheries Council on 15 and 16 December.
This was the first meeting between Minister Coveney and Minister Vidalies.
“France and Ireland have important shared fisheries in the Celtic Sea," said Minister Coveney. "I met Minister Vidalies to discuss with him the issues of importance relating to the management of these fisheries.
"I pointed out that the Irish and French fishing industries have a strong working relationship and that I wanted to ensure that this relationship is fully reflected at political level.”
The minister added: “There are particular issues arising in the Celtic Sea and our industries have worked together to bring forward measures to increase selectivity and reduce discarding of young fish. The EU Commission has proposed very severe quota cuts to the key cod and haddock fisheries.
"I agreed with Minister Vidalies that we will work closely over the coming weeks to secure agreement to a package of measures involving improved selectivity measures and set quota levels that take into account the most up to date scientific advice.“
The EU Commission has published its proposals for Total Allowable Catches and quotas for 2015. The commission has proposed a 64% quota cut for Celtic Sea cod for 2015 and a 41% cut for haddock in the Celtic Sea. The EU Commission has yet to make its proposal for the Celtic Sea whiting and prawn quotas for 2015.
Submissions from all stakeholders have been sought by 21 November to inform a Sustainability Impact Assessment which will be presented to the Oireachtas by Minister Coveney on 2 December.