fisheries council o'donoghue decision

CEO of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, Seán O’Donoghue pictured here at Pelagic Advisory Council, with Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius

Unlike previous years, negotiators likely to reach final decisions for 2024 on key stocks for Irish fishermen

The CEO of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation has expressed hope that final decisions can be reached around 2024 TACs (Total Allowable Catches) and quotas at this year’s Fisheries Council negotiations unlike what has happened over the last three years.

For the first time since Brexit, EU/UK bilateral talks should have reached a conclusion ahead of Council commencing on Sunday next, 10 December 2023.

Seán O’Donoghue said that it was timely and ultimately much more practical that negotiations pivotal to the Irish fleet be finished ahead of Ireland and its EU counterparts beginning to talk and strike final deals on the TACs and quotas for the industry for 2024.

“If everything goes to plan, the Council should be able to sign off on a complete package of TACs and quotas for the entire year since the EU/UK bilateral covers virtually all stocks of interest to Ireland.

“Furthermore, it could happen that the EU/Norway/UK trilateral will be agreed by the end of this week which will also mean the EU/Norway bilateral, completed just last week can be signed. This is by no means certain as there is still a major issue to be resolved with herring in the North Sea and indeed cod. The latter stock is of interest to us since it pertains to cod in the North West or area 6a and it will be the first time we have a TAC here since 2011 which is a positive development.

Again, we have called on the Minister and the Commission to urge Norway and the Faroe Islands to stop the massive overfishing of mackerel in the Northeast Atlantic which is jeopardizing the sustainable management of the stock. We’re already paying the price with a proposed 5% cut for 2024. Had the ICES advice been followed for the past number of years then there would be a 10-20% increase in the 2024 advice rather than a 5% decrease. It is critical that the Council of Ministers act decisively against this irresponsible and reckless behaviour,” said Mr O’Donoghue.

The KFO will also highlight the important issue of proposed reductions in whitefish stocks in the Celtic Sea which would have significant social and economic consequences.

Mr O’Donoghue concluded by stating that as in previous years, after the usual battles that ‘The Hague Preferences’ – which see Ireland getting elevated quotas for a number of key species, will be delivered.

 

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