#TerritorialWaters - Marine minister Michael Creed writes The Irish Times faces a clash with the influential Donegal supertrawler fleet following his decision to review the share-out of the lucrative mackerel fishery.
Mr Creed has also said he was committed to legislation allowing northern and southern fishing vessels reciprocal fishing rights within the island’s territorial waters, in spite of opposition within the industry.
He has also warned of a “very real problem” if Westminster “puts a ring around its territorial waters” when it leaves the EU, given that 38 per cent of Irish catches are in British waters.
The Cork North-West TD secured a 6 per cent overall increase in Irish fish quotas for this year in Brussels last month, including an additional mackerel allocation valued at about €10 million.
Mackerel is Ireland’s most important commercial fishery, with a value of €64 million last year for the Irish fleet, according to Bord Iascaigh Mhara.
Mr Creed conceded to a request from the Irish South and West Fishermen’s Organisation to review the share-out of an additional quota.
The move has been criticised by the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, representing the Donegal-based fleet that pioneered the hunt for the valuable migratory stock –and which has held up to 87 per cent of the annual share-out.