Ireland secures ‘balanced’ EU deal

IRISH fishermen will see a nine per cent increase in the prawn quota and a 14 per cent boost in mackerel following the EU fisheries meeting, which concluded early this morning in Brussels.
In total, Ireland secured 233,500 tonnes of quotas worth €280 million for 2017. This represents an increase of 17,390 tonnes over 2016.
Irish fisheries minister Michael Creed (pictured) said: ‘This is a balanced package for the Irish fishing industry. I am satisfied that I have managed to turn an extremely worrying set of proposals from the Commission into a much improved outcome for the Irish fishing industry.
‘I am especially pleased that the quotas agreed respects the scientific advice ensuring that the fish stocks in our waters will be managed sustainably.’
For the south and west coasts and the Irish Sea, there will be a nine per cent increase in the €74 million prawn fishery which benefits the ports of Clogherhead, Howth, Union Hall, Castletownbere, Dingle and Ros a Mhil.
For the south west, there is a nine per cent increase in hake, and a reversal of cuts proposed for monkfish – important for the southern ports of Castletownbere and Dingle.
The Celtic Sea fisheries will see a 21 per cent increase in whiting (from a possible 27 per cent cut); a seven per cent increase in haddock, and a 15 per cent cut in cod (reduced from the 68 per cent proposed cut).
For the Irish Sea, there will be a 25 per cent increase in haddock, and a retention of cod and sole quotas.
And in the north west, the monkfish quota is up by 20 per cent, the megrim quota by nine per cent, the Rockall haddock quota is nearly doubled, and there is no change in whiting, benefiting the ports of Greencastle and Killybegs.
Cuts in line with scientific advice were applied to haddock in the north west and megrim in the Celtic Sea.
Creed said: ‘In 2017 we will now have a significant increase for our vitally important white fish fisheries and stability for many of our valuable stocks around our coast.
‘This will ensure the continued vibrancy of our industry and the long term sustainability of our stocks.’