Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: mackerel

Inshore fishers have expressed shock at the sudden closure of the hook and line fishery for mackerel due to an exhausted quota.

As the Times Ireland reports, the hook and line method used to catch the fish inshore has low environmental impact, as there is no risk of by-catch of dolphins and turtles and other marine mammals.

The growth of farmers’ markets has opened up new domestic opportunities to sell the highly prized migratory fish - which is in demand worldwide because of its rich oil content.

However, a number of skippers among up to 2,000 other vessels under 15 metres entitled to catch inshore mackerel were shocked to hear earlier this month (June) that the fishery has closed early.

“We were told our 400-tonne overall quota for the entire inshore fleet has expired,” Eamon Dixon of the Erris Inshore Fishermen’s Association in Mayo says.

“We had dozens of young lads working on this fishery up here for up to three months of the year, and it has been so valuable for this area,” Dixon explains.

Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns has called on Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue to explain why over 98 per cent of Ireland’s overall quota of mackerel has been allocated to 49 larger Irish vessels – leaving less than a per cent for the inshore fleet.

National Inshore Fishermen’s Association (NIFA) secretary Alex Crowley said the popularity of line-caught mackerel had risen in recent years, taking pressure off shellfish stocks and at a time when the price of crab had fallen.

“Up to last year, there was a trip limit of 500 kg, but this was increased by the department to 750kg per trip which had made it viable,” he said.

“For remote communities like north Mayo, it is an opportunity and with such a low impact,” he said. “However, our own management regime is choking this fishery”.

Dixon and colleagues believe there should be no quota set for smaller vessels, as they pose no threat to supertrawlers – both Irish and international - following the mackerel shoals between Norway, Scotland and Ireland.

Mr McConalogue’s department said that when the 400-tonne limit was exceeded in the fishery in 2020 it was “unexpected”, as total landings for vessels under 15m had been below this until then.

“The 2021 fishery was closed by the minister on June 12th, when the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) advised the Department that the available quota had been caught and exceeded,”it said.

The policy for allocation of 400 tonne to smaller vessels had been set in 2010, amended in 2017, and the minister must be “satisfied that there is satisfactory evidence of changed circumstances to justify a policy review”, it said.

Any such review would require an assessment and full public consultation, the department said, and any increase for the inshore fleet would require that it be “taken from others who are already facing significant cuts” under the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement.

The Brexit TCA involves transferring 25 per cent of Ireland’s overall mackerel quota to Britain, the department pointed out.

Read more in The Times here

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D., said that Norway unilaterally announced this morning that it would give itself a 55% increase in its share of the Mackerel Stock in 2021. In tonnage terms, this means an increase from 191,843 tonnes to 298,299 tonnes – an increase of 106,456 tonnes for 2021. The Norwegian decision seeks to increase its share of the Mackerel Stock from 22.5% to 35%.

Mackerel has been managed under a UN Coastal States Agreement that involved the EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands for the period 2014 to 2020. Iceland had refused to participate in the management agreement and the three parties set aside a share of the stock for it. In 2021, after Brexit and the UK departure from the EU, the new parties involved have not been able to put a new Coastal States Agreement on Mackerel in place.

Minister McConalogue said, “This declaration by Norway to hugely increase its fishery for mackerel is a direct threat to the sustainability of the mackerel fishery and the future of the Irish pelagic fishing industry. There is no justification for this unilateral, opportunistic and unsustainable move. This is all the more disappointing because it undermines the critically important arrangements for joint management of mackerel by the Coastal States under the UN structure. As the scientific advice sets the sustainable level of fishing each year on mackerel, an increase by Norway means either the stock is overfished or other parties must take a smaller share. Neither option is acceptable.”

The mackerel stock is a widely distributed, migratory fish that inhabits much of the north-eastern Atlantic shelf ranging from south of Ireland and the Bay of Biscay to north of Norway. It is fast swimming forming dense shoals when migrating from its spawning grounds to the south and west of Ireland and migrate to northern waters to feedThe mackerel stock is a widely distributed, migratory fish that inhabits much of the north-eastern Atlantic shelf ranging from south of Ireland and the Bay of Biscay to north of Norway. It is fast swimming forming dense shoals when migrating from its spawning grounds to the south and west of Ireland and migrate to northern waters to feed

Under the EU /UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement, there was a 26% reduction in our mackerel quota within the EU by 2026, with 60% of this reduction applied in 2021. Mackerel remains Irelands most important fishery with a quota for 2021 of 60,849 tonnes valued at approximately €80m and it underpins the important Irish pelagic fish processing industry in the North West. Ireland is the largest Mackerel quota holder in the EU.

Minister Mc McConalogue made clear that; “I am calling on EU Commissioner Sinkevičius to reject completely this unilateral action by Norway to claim a much higher share of the mackerel stock. I am writing to him immediately to ask him to respond without delay to this provocative and irresponsible action. I will ask him to outline what actions the European Commission will take to protect the important EU mackerel fleets and mackerel processing industry. It is vital that the EU Commissioner takes urgent steps to counteract this irresponsible action by Norway. Norway must understand that responsible partners do not get rewarded for such unacceptable action.”

Minister Mc McConalogue added, “Our mackerel fishermen have already taken unacceptable cuts to their share of the mackerel stock under the EU/UK TCA. I am working with them to pursue all avenues to deliver a more equitable burden sharing within the EU. I am very concerned that this action by Norway will add further uncertainty to the mackerel industry already trying to adjust to reduce quotas after Brexit.”

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#Fishing - The European Union, Norway and the Faroe Islands have agreed to a 20% reduction in mackerel quotas in the North East Atlantic for 2019.

The news for Ireland’s single most valuable fishery was the outcome of international fisheries negotiations which concluded in Bergen, Norway yesterday (Thursday 29 November).

Marine Minister Michael Creed — who described the negotiations, which also took place in Clonakilty earlier this month, as “challenging” — added: “The reductions reflect the available scientific advice that the abundance of this stock has declined. This level of reduction is seen by all parties as essential to ensure that the stock is fished sustainably.”

The minister also confirmed that agreement was reached on a two-year extension of the sharing arrangement between the three main parties. “This provides a welcome degree of stability for this hugely important fishery. Irish fishermen will now have a quota worth over €55m directly to our catching sector for 2019,” he said.

“While the quota for Ireland is less than that of recent years, those quotas were unusually high by historical standards. The quota of 55,000 tonnes achieved today is in line with our historical average quota.

“We must continue to be cautious with this crucially important stock. As always, industry representatives, in particular Sean O’Donoghue of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, were extremely helpful to the Irish negotiating team.”

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

Marine Minister Michael Creed welcomed today’s (Wednesday 7 November) resumption on Wednesday of important international negotiations on 2019 mackerel quotas for the stock in the North East Atlantic.

The negotiations, involving 11 EU and non-EU countries, are being hosted on behalf of the EU by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine in the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty, Co Cork and follow on from an initial round of negotiations in London in October.

“Mackerel is our single most important fishery economically and the negotiations this year are especially challenging given that the new scientific advice is for a reduction in quotas of 61%,” Minister Creed said.

“There are concerns from the scientific community about the quality of that advice but we need to take full account of all of the available information, the sustainability of the stock and the socio-economic importance of the mackerel fishery to peripheral coastal communities.

“These negotiations will be very difficult. The proposed 61% cut in the mackerel quota for 2019 would be very significant for our fishing industry along the western seaboard, particularly in Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Cork.

“Ireland is committed to the long-term sustainability of this stock and has worked hard to date to get a more graduated response to the scientific advice, taking account of the fact that this will be subject to a full review and quality assurance early in early 2019.”

Delegations from Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Faeroe Islands will try and reach an agreement on the total allowable catch (TAC) for mackerel for 2019.

Up to 50 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 added: “I am pleased that Ireland, on behalf of the EU, is hosting this second round of Mackerel negotiations in the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty. The fact that these negotiations are being facilitated by my department in Ireland underlines the economic importance of this stock to the Irish fishing industry.

“Mackerel is the single most valuable stock for the Irish fleet, and indeed the EU as a whole, and it is very much in our interests that we secure agreement at international level on management arrangements and catch levels for this stock.”

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#MarineWildlife - The RV Celtic Voyager departed the Port of Cork yesterday (Wednesday 24 October) for ‘Operation Orca’, a 12-day survey of an offshore killer whale community associated with the Northeast Atlantic mackerel fishery.

A team of marine scientists from University College Cork is on board the research vessel that’s headed to waters east of the Orkneys, to study the orcas that feed on mackerel between October and February each year.

“This is the first time a dedicated research vessel will be heading up to study these killer whales and we are hopeful to come back with a lot of data,” said PhD researcher and chief scientist Róisín Pinfield in her introductory blog for the survey.

“We will have cameras, GoPros, drones, underwater hydrophones collecting acoustic data so we can hear the killer whales and a RIB so we can get in close if weather conditions allow. Time to pray to the weather gods to keep the storms away!”

The [email protected] blog will be regularly updated by the Celtic Voyager team once they reach the fishing grounds and begin their survey, which runs till Sunday 4 November.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Fishing - Marine Minister Michael Creed held a key bilateral meetings on the margins of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg this week with his Danish and Spanish counterparts to discuss Brexit and fisheries priorities.

Minister Creed met the Danish minister for fisheries Eva Kjer Hansen on Brexit, with both ministers agreeing to continue to work together over the upcoming critical period to deliver on the EU guidelines for a future relationship in respect of fisheries.

Minister Creed also held a bilateral with the Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Luis Planas Puchades to discuss development of CAP strategic plans, as well as key concerns with regard to Brexit.

“I welcome the understanding that both Ministers demonstrated in our discussions today with regard to Brexit and its impact on both the Irish agri-food and fisheries sectors,” said Minister Creed yesterday (Monday 15 October).

“There is a strong appreciation of the Irish concerns in the context of Brexit negotiations and I very much welcome the ongoing support provided by my Danish and Spanish colleagues in this regard.”

Ministers Creed and Planas also reviewed challenging issues facing both member states in advance of the full introduction of the discards ban on 1 January next and setting quotas at the December fisheries council that supports the practical delivery of this new policy.

Minister Creed addressed the setting of the mackerel total allowable catch (TAC) and quotas for 2019 in a situation where the scientific advice advocates a 61% cut from 2018.

Minister Creed said: “We need to take full account of the concerns from the scientists themselves about this year’s advice and take account of the socio-economic importance of the mackerel fishery when deciding on a TAC for 2019.

“We must work closely at an EU level with Norway and the Faroe Islands, our partners in the management agreement, to reach a balanced outcome that avoids undue inter-annual fluctuation in the management of the stock.”

Published in Fishing

#Fishing - Marine Minister Michael Creed TD has launched a public consultation on the Inshore Fisheries Strategy, following a proposal made by the National Inshore Fisheries Forum.

The consultation process will be open for a seven-week period and is due to close on Friday 17 August.

The proposed strategy will frame the work of the Inshore Forums over the next number of years. It follows an extensive consultation process involving the National and Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums on initiatives that seek to cultivate a more sustainable, profitable and well-managed inshore fisheries sector.

This is the first time in the history of the State that inshore fishermen have set about developing a sector-specific strategy for themselves, the minister’s department added.

“I welcome the crucial role that the Inshore Fisheries Forums have played in its development and I am pleased that the Forum members are continuing to take the lead when it comes to engaging with issues that affect the inshore sector. I would like to thank BIM for facilitating the Forums in undertaking this task,” Minister Creed said.

The development of an inshore strategy will underpin a sustainable inshore fisheries sector and afford an opportunity to target funding support available under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to where it can be most effectively used.

“This is an opportunity for all interested parties to contribute their views on the development of the first strategic plan for the inshore sector,” the minister said. “It is critical that stakeholders have their views considered as this strategy will frame the work of the Inshore Forums over the next number of years and provide a clear direction for the development of the inshore sector.”

Interested parties are invited to view and complete the consultation available online.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has begun an investigation into the State’s monitoring of supertrawlers in Irish waters, according to The Irish Times.

Inconsistencies in Ireland’s mackerel fishery out of Killybegs prompted new controls by the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority, which are currently under audit by the EU directorate-general for maritime affairs and fisheries.

Ireland’s mackerel quota, the second largest in the EU, was reduced for 2018 to just under 70,000 tonnes in last October’s international fisheries negotiations, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Fishing - The new mackerel quota for Irish fishermen for 2018 will be just under 70,000 tonnes (69,143 tonnes) with a landing value of €70 million.

The figure marks a reduction of more than 17,000 tonnes on the 2017 quota of 86,429 tonnes for Ireland’s most valuable fishery.

Marine Minister Michael Creed TD made the announcement after the international fisheries negotiations which concluded in London on Wednesday (11 October).

These negotiations — between the European Union, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland — were focused on the sustainable management of the €1 billion annual mackerel fishery in the North East Atlantic.

“Mackerel is our most valuable fishery and allied to the fact that we are the second-largest EU quota holder, these negotiations are always of crucial importance to the Irish fishing industry,” said Minister Creed.

“There was new scientific advice this year which showed that, while the stock is in good shape, a precautionary approach for long-term sustainability was necessary, with a significant reduction in quota recommended.

“Accordingly, following careful consideration of scientific advice of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and discussions with the Marine Institute and industry stakeholders, I supported a reduction, in line with the agreed Long Term Management Strategy, in the quota for 2018.”

The current sharing arrangement for mackerel was agreed in 2014 between three parties only: the EU, Faeroes and Norway. An amount is held in reserve to accommodate the other parties.

This agreement is due to expire at the end of 2018, and it is expected that intensive negotiations on a new agreement will take place throughout next year.

“The quotas agreed for 2018 are consistent with the Long Term Management Strategy which aims to provide sustainability and stability in this hugely valuable fishery in line with the scientific advice,” Minister Creed added.

“In terms of the negotiations to come these are likely to be further complicated by Brexit. I remain dissatisfied with the 2014 agreement and will be working for a more equitable sharing arrangement that also protects the ongoing long-term sustainability of the mackerel stock.”

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

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 .”

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

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”.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under
Page 1 of 3

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating