Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today welcomed the start of important international fishing negotiations on the mackerel stock in the North East Atlantic. The negotiations are being hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine on behalf of the European Commission in the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty, County Cork.
Minister Creed said that “I am very pleased that Ireland is, once again, hosting the very important Coastal State Mackerel negotiations. The fact that these negotiations are being held in Ireland emphasises the economic importance of this stock to the Irish fishing industry. Mackerel is the single most valuable stock for the Irish fleet and we need to secure agreement at international level on management arrangements and catch levels for this stock.”
Delegations from Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland & the Faeroe Islands will try and reach an agreement on the total allowable catch (TAC) for mackerel for 2017. The Russian Federation and Greenland will also participate as observers. Up to 70 international delegates are expected in West Cork for the three day negotiations. Officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, supported by scientists from the Marine Institute, will represent Ireland at these negotiations.
Minister Creed went on to say that "Given the importance of Mackerel to both the Irish catching sector and to our seafood processing industry I very much hope that an agreement on sustainable catch levels for 2017 can be reached next week in the context of the Long Term Management Strategy agreed last year. Ireland currently has a quota of 75,000 tonnes – the second highest share in the EU – and we will be working to achieve an increase in line with the latest scientific advice”.