Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD today welcomed the positive outcome for Irish Fishermen at the international fisheries negotiations which concluded today at the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty, Co. Cork. These negotiations, between the European Union, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland were focused on the management of the €1billion annual mackerel fishery in the North East Atlantic.
The new mackerel quota for Irish fishermen for 2017 will be 86,429 tonnes - an increase of over 10,500 tonnes from 2016.
Minister Creed said:
“Mackerel is our most valuable fishery and allied to the fact that we are the second largest EU quota holder these negotiations are of crucial importance to the Irish fishing industry. In that context, I very much welcome the outcome of the international mackerel negotiations today, hosted by Ireland, in which Irish fishermen will now have over 10,500 tonnes more in 2017. This is worth over €10million directly to our catching sector with further value to be added by our mackerel processing factories in Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Cork”.
The current sharing arrangement for mackerel was agreed in 2014 between three parties only – EU, Faroes and Norway. An amount is held in reserve to accommodate the other parties. This agreement is due to expire in 2018 and it is expected that negotiations on a new agreement will commence in 2017.
The Minister added that:
“The quotas agreed for 2017 are consistent with the Long term Management Strategy agreed by the parties last year to provide sustainability and stability in this hugely valuable fishery in line with the scientific advice. Industry representatives, in particular, Sean O’Donoghue of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, Patrick Murphy of the Irish South & West Fishermen’s Organisation and Francis O’Donnell of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation were very helpful to the Irish negotiating team, throughout the negotiations .”