pelagic sector IFPO irish fishing quota concerns

Aodh O’Donnell, IFPO CEO has expressed concern that the Irish fishing sector faces challenges amidst historical quota concerns

Following the close of the December Council negotiations, Minister McConalogue and his team have been praised for their commitment, but concerns persist over the historical challenges faced by Ireland’s fishing sector under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Aodh O’Donnell, CEO of the Irish Fish Processors Organisation (IFPO), expressed gratitude for the efforts of Minister McConalogue and his team while highlighting the impact of Ireland’s four-decade-long commitment to the CFP.

Speaking after the AGRIFISH Council, O’Donnell said, “While the commitment of Minister McConalogue and his team in the December Council process is fully acknowledged, the level of outcomes for Ireland are driven by a historical lack of fair opportunity under the Common Fisheries Policy. We have been locked into this CFP for the last 40 years. Ireland must remain focused to reverse the ongoing decline of the sector that was exacerbated when 40% of the quota given to UK post-Brexit came from Ireland. 

“Representative bodies must unite further and work collaboratively with the Department to develop a strategy to renew the sector,” stated O’Donnell. He stressed the urgency of securing the transfer back to Ireland of fishing opportunities lost in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement resulting from Brexit.

A critical point of concern highlighted by O’Donnell is the severe quota cut of 9%, emphasising the need to address this issue promptly. The recent Council agreement regarding the transfer of some mackerel to Ireland from Denmark is seen as a vital first step in mitigating this cut. O’Donnell views this development as a paradigm of what can be achieved through collaborative efforts to restore Ireland’s fishing opportunities.

Before the AGRIFISH Council, O’Donnell had stated the Irish fishing industry, grappling with the consequences of Brexit and the historical challenges posed by the CFP, faces a pivotal moment in the negotiations. Industry leaders and government bodies are being urged to unite in a comprehensive strategy aimed at revitalising the sector and ensuring fair opportunities for Irish fishermen in the post-Brexit landscape.

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