Marine Minister Michael Creed has announced that the implementation of the Pilot Quota Balancing Policy for Demersal (Whitefish) Stocks will be delayed until Monday 1 June.
The Pilot Quota Balancing Policy for Demersal (Whitefish) Stocks (with technical amendment of August 2019) was due to be implemented from 1 January, with quota balancing statements to issue to licence holders by the end of April.
But the minister said he acknowledges the current economic climate has had a significant impact on the seafood industry and has been particularly challenging for vessels in the whitefish fleet — fishing for hake, haddock, monkfish and whiting.
“This delay will allow our whitefish fleet extra time to become familiar with the quota balancing process and to adapt in these unprecedented times,” he said on Friday (24 April).
Quota balancing means that where a vessel lands more than its allocated catch limit for a stock during a fishery management period, a deduction will be made from a future catch limit for that vessel.
It is understood that quota balancing statements for demersal (whitefish) stocks for the calendar months of January 2020 to May 2020 will be issued to licence holders for information purposes only.
Minister Creed has recently come under fire for his reluctance to avail of EU finding to ease the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Ireland’s fishing sector.