The Director-General of DG MARE says no new quota allocations for Irish fishing industry
The Irish fishing fleet will receive no more quota in their own waters and the decision on whether to decommission fishing vessels will be up to the Member States themselves, says the Director-General of DG MARE Charlina Vitcheva.
The news will come as another blow to the Irish fishing industry that is facing destruction in the light of a disastrous Brexit agreement steered by the European Commission itself.
The Irish fleet is facing a loss of €43 million due to the Fisheries Framework Agreement between the EU and the UK but will not be able to recover their losses through the allocation of extra quota in their own waters, even though they now hold the largest EEZ in the European Union.
Fisheries organisations in Ireland had hoped the Minister for the Marine would ask for a reallocation of quota to the Irish fleet but this was ruled out by the Director-General.
Ms Vitcheva was talking today on the Blue Deals Debate show called Brexit and Fisheries: A done deal or unfinished business?
On the Brexit Adjustment Reserve Fund, Ms Vitcheva said, “The way the Brexit Adjustment Reserve is constructed is giving a lot of space to the Member States, so the Member State will decide how to distribute this, what type of measures, of course we have a menu of measures, but they are entrusted to really make it their way knowing that who suffers the most to allocating them this money to cushion them from the impact of Brexit.”
The question was put to the Director-General if the Brexit Adjustment Reserve Fund was really a decommissioning fund for the EU fishing fleet and whether the EU Commission was going to support the struggling Irish fleet by sanctioning more quota for the fleet in their own waters.
She said, “This has been very much in the Irish press. I will not comment so much. As I said we’ve been trying to level out the burden between the Member States that concerned, but the inevitably Ireland is so much closer and interlinked in terms of fisheries activities with the UK.
“No matter how much effort you will do you will really touch them in their activity.
“On the first question, I don’t think so.
“On the second question we are not going to request Ireland to do (decommission) whatsoever. It is really for the Irish authorities and the sector to sit together and see what they can do best and what will be the optimal solution out of this new reality in a way.
“We offer the support for any measures that might be designed on their side and the new EMFAF, which means European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, this is the new fund as of 2021 until 2027, it provides for measurements for permanent cessation, so if there an assessment that it is better to decommission and reduce the fleet, to adjust to the new reality, then that will be done with the support of EMFAF.”
The Director-General claimed that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) will result in an increase in fish stocks over the next few years which will be enough to offset the fishing lost from UK waters.
The Fishing Daily has contacted the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine requesting verification on the Minister’s intention going forward based on the Director-General’s statement today.
by Oliver McBride